MRI Research Amsterdam UMC

Muscle MRI

With a variety of quantitative MRI techniques, we can assess skeletal muscle structure and composition in both health and disease. The most common acquisition used for muscle evaluation are chemical-shift-based water-fat imaging for the assessment of muscle volumes and the replacement of muscle tissue by fat, T2 relaxometry acquisitions to look at active muscle damage and Diffusion Tensor Imaging to evaluate changes in the underlying muscle microstructure. Currently we evaluate such structural and compositional changes in skeletal muscle in various patient populations, e.g. patients with neuromuscular diseases, patients with sarcopenia, athletes with hamstring injuries and in healthy ageing.  

Additionally, we work on the development and implementation of tailored quantitative acquisitions and post-processing techniques to assess a variety of functional characteristics of skeletal muscle. For that purpose, also a multitude of MR compatible exercise devices are available within the department. The functional parameters we can for example measure are mitochondrial and capillary function during dynamic arm and leg cycling experiments using interleaved acquisitions of 31P MRS and qT2* and muscle contraction dynamics can be measured using time-resolved 3D Phase contrast MRI during dynamic dorsi-/plantarflexion exercise.  

Lastly, we are continuously exploring a variety of acceleration techniques to speed up the MRI acquisitions for skeletal muscle to make the transition from research applications towards clinical implementation.