In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (23)

Articles by Richard D. Dortch in JoVE

 JoVE Medicine

Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Skeletal Muscle Disease

1Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University, 2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 4Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University, 6Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University


JoVE 52352

Other articles by Richard D. Dortch on PubMed

Temporal DeltaB0 and Relaxation in the Rat Heart

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17969107

Field maps of the induced main magnetic field offset (DeltaB(0)) were measured in the rat heart at various points in the cardiac cycle for the purpose of identifying their effects on relaxation measurements. The mean DeltaB(0) of the left ventricle averaged across rats was found to be 0.11 +/- 0.35 ppm and 0.19 +/- 0.39 ppm at the onset of systole and diastole, respectively. The root mean square (RMS) variation in resonant frequency of the left ventricle averaged across rats was found to be 0.09 +/- 0.05 ppm and 0.06 +/- 0.04 ppm during systole and diastole, respectively. Temporal variations in DeltaB(0) could substantially affect quantitative MRI measurements. To assess this, transverse relaxation rates (R(2) and R(2)(*)) were measured at different points in the cardiac cycle, and the effects of DeltaB(0) were estimated using measured field map data. For a given region of the left ventricle, DeltaB(0) induced a mean error across rats of < or =3.9% for R(2) and < or =9.6% for R(2)(*). For R(2)(*) measurements, the static component of the field inhomogeneity was found to be responsible for most of the error induced.

Evidence of Multiexponential T2 in Rat Glioblastoma

NMR in Biomedicine. Jul, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19267385

The aim of this study was to characterize multiexponential T(2) (MET(2)) relaxation in a rat C6 glioblastoma tumor model. To do this, rats (n = 11) were inoculated with the C6 cells via stereotaxic injection into the brain. Ten days later, MET(2) measurements were performed in vivo using a single-slice, multi-echo spin-echo sequence at 7.0 T. Tumor signal was biexponential in eight animals with a short-lived T(2) component (T(2) = 20.7 +/- 5.4 ms across samples) representing 6.8 +/- 6.2% of the total signal and a long-lived T(2) component (T(2) = 76.4 +/- 9.3 ms) representing the remaining signal fraction. In contrast, signal from contralateral grey matter was consistently monoexponential (T(2) = 48.8 +/- 2.3 ms). Additional ex vivo studies (n = 3) and Monte Carlo simulations showed that the in vivo results were not significantly corrupted by partial volume averaging or noise. The underlying physiological origin of the observed MET(2) components is unknown; however, MET(2) analysis may hold promise as a non-invasive tool for characterizing tumor microenvironment in vivo on a sub-voxel scale.

Characterization of 1H NMR Signal in Human Cortical Bone for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20806375

Recent advancements in MRI have enabled clinical imaging of human cortical bone, providing a potentially powerful new means for assessing bone health with molecular-scale sensitivities unavailable to conventional X-ray-based diagnostics. In human cortical bone, MRI is sensitive to populations of protons ((1)H) partitioned among water and protein sources, which may be differentiated according to intrinsic NMR properties such as chemical shift and transverse and longitudinal relaxation rates. Herein, these NMR properties were assessed in human cortical bone donors from a broad age range, and four distinct (1)H populations were consistently identified and attributed to five microanatomical sources. These findings show that modern human cortical bone MRI contrast will be dominated by collagen-bound water, which can also be exploited to study human cortical bone collagen via magnetization transfer.

Compartment-specific Enhancement of White Matter and Nerve Ex Vivo Using Chromium

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20806376

Chromium--Cr(VI) in the form of potassium dichromate--has been shown to specifically enhance white matter signal. The proposed mechanism for this enhancement is reduction of diamagnetic Cr(VI) to paramagnetic chromium species by oxidizable myelin lipids. The purpose of the study herein was to better understand the microanatomical basis of this enhancement (i.e., the relative enhancement of myelin, intra-axonal, and extra-axonal water). Toward this end, integrated T(1)-T(2) measurements were performed in potassium dichromate loaded (hereafter referred to as chromated) rat brains, rat optic nerve samples, and frog sciatic nerve samples ex vivo. In control optic nerve and white matter, two T(1)-T(2) components were resolved, representing myelin and nonmyelin water (intra- and extra-axonal water). Following chromation, three T(1)-T(2) components were resolved in these same tissues. Results from similar measurements in sciatic nerve-all three components are resolvable in control and chromated samples-and quantitative histologic analysis suggest that this additional T(1)-T(2) component is due to a splitting of the nonmyelin water component into intra- and extra-axonal water components. This compartment-specific enhancement may provide unique contrast for MR histology, as well as allow one to probe the compartmental basis of various contrast mechanisms in neural tissue.

Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging in Human Brain at 3 T Via Selective Inversion Recovery

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21608030

Quantitative magnetization transfer imaging yields indices describing the interactions between free water protons and immobile, macromolecular protons-including the macromolecular to free pool size ratio (PSR) and the rate of magnetization transfer between pools k(mf) . This study describes the first implementation of the selective inversion recovery quantitative magnetization transfer method on a clinical 3.0-T scanner in human brain in vivo. Selective inversion recovery data were acquired at 16 different inversion times in nine healthy subjects and two patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Data were collected using a fast spin-echo readout and reduced repetition time, resulting in an acquisition time of 4 min for a single slice. In healthy subjects, excellent intersubject and intrasubject reproducibilities (assessed via repeated measures) were demonstrated. Furthermore, PSR values in white (mean ± SD = 11.4 ± 1.2%) and gray matter (7.5 ± 0.7%) were consistent with previously reported values, while k(mf) values were approximately 2-fold slower in both white (11 ± 2 s(-1) ) and gray matter (15 ± 6 s(-1) ). In relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients, quantitative magnetization transfer indices were sensitive to pathological changes in lesions and in normal appearing white matter.

A Quantitative Comparison of the Influence of Individual Versus Population-derived Vascular Input Functions on Dynamic Contrast Enhanced-MRI in Small Animals

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21688316

For quantitative analysis of dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging data, the time course of the concentration of the contrast agent in the blood plasma, or vascular input function (VIF), is required. We compared pharmacokinetic parameters derived using individual and population-based VIFs in mice for two different contrast agents, gadopentetate dimeglumine and P846. Eleven mice with subcutaneous 4T(1) breast cancer xenografts were imaged at 7 T. A precontrast T(1) map was acquired along with dynamic T(1) -weighted gradient echo images before, during, and after a bolus injection of contrast agent delivered via a syringe pump. Each animal's individual VIF and derived population-averaged VIF were used to extract parameters from the signal-time curves of tumor tissue at both the region of interest and voxel level. The results indicate that for both contrast agents, K(trans) values estimated using population-averaged VIF have a high correlation (concordance correlation coefficient > 0.85) with K(trans) values estimated using individual VIF on both a region of interest and voxel level. This work supports the validity of using of a population-based VIF with a stringent injection protocol in preclinical dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging studies.

Amide Proton Transfer Imaging of the Breast at 3 T: Establishing Reproducibility and Possible Feasibility Assessing Chemotherapy Response

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 22907893

Chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging can generate contrast that is sensitive to amide protons associated with proteins and peptides (termed amide proton transfer, APT). In breast cancer, APT contrast may report on underlying changes in microstructural tissue composition. However, to date, there have been no developments or applications of APT chemical exchange saturation transfer to breast cancer. As a result, the aims of this study were to (i) experimentally explore optimal scan parameters for breast chemical exchange saturation transfer near the amide resonance at 3 T, (ii) establish the reliability of APT imaging of healthy fibroglandular tissue, and (iii) demonstrate preliminary results on APT changes in locally advanced breast cancer observed during the course of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemical exchange saturation transfer measurements were experimentally optimized on cross-linked bovine serum albumin phantoms, and the reliability of APT imaging was assessed in 10 women with no history of breast disease. The mean difference between test-retest APT values was not significantly different from zero, and the individual difference values were not dependent on the average APT value. The 95% confidence interval limits were ±0.70% (α = 0.05), and the repeatability was 1.91. APT measurements were also performed in three women before and after one cycle of chemotherapy. Following therapy, APT increased in the one patient with progressive disease and decreased in the two patients with a partial or complete response. Together, these results suggest that APT imaging may report on treatment response in these patients.

Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging of Human Brain at 7 T

NeuroImage. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 22940589

Quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging yields indices describing the interactions between free water protons and immobile macromolecular protons. These indices include the macromolecular to free pool size ratio (PSR), which has been shown to be correlated with myelin content in white matter. Because of the long scan times required for whole-brain imaging (≈20-30 min), qMT studies of the human brain have not found widespread application. Herein, we investigated whether the increased signal-to-noise ratio available at 7.0 T could be used to reduce qMT scan times. More specifically, we developed a selective inversion recovery (SIR) qMT imaging protocol with a i) novel transmit radiofrequency (B(1)(+)) and static field (B(0)) insensitive inversion pulse, ii) turbo field-echo readout, and iii) reduced TR. In vivo qMT data were obtained in the brains of healthy volunteers at 7.0 T using the resulting protocol (scan time≈40 s/slice, resolution=2 × 2 × 3 mm(3)). Reliability was also assessed in repeated acquisitions. The results of this study demonstrate that SIR qMT imaging can be reliably performed within the radiofrequency power restrictions present at 7.0 T, even in the presence of large B(1)(+) and B(0) inhomogeneities. Consistent with qMT studies at lower field strengths, the observed PSR values were higher in white matter (mean±SD=17.6 ± 1.3%) relative to gray matter (10.3 ± 1.6%) at 7.0 T. In addition, regional variations in PSR were observed in white matter. Together, these results suggest that qMT measurements are feasible at 7.0 T and may eventually allow for the high-resolution assessment of changes in composition throughout the normal and diseased human brain in vivo.

Characterizing Inter-compartmental Water Exchange in Myelinated Tissue Using Relaxation Exchange Spectroscopy

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Nov, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23233414

To investigate inter-compartmental water exchange in two model myelinated tissues ex vivo using relaxation exchange spectroscopy.

Amide Proton Transfer Imaging of the Human Breast at 7T: Development and Reproducibility

NMR in Biomedicine. Oct, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23559550

Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) can offer information about protons associated with mobile proteins through the amide proton transfer (APT) effect, which has been shown to discriminate tumor from healthy tissue and, more recently, has been suggested as a prognosticator of response to therapy. Despite this promise, APT effects are small (only a few percent of the total signal), and APT imaging is often prone to artifacts resulting from system instability. Here we present a procedure that enables the detection of APT effects in the human breast at 7T while mitigating these issues. Adequate signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was achieved via an optimized quadrature RF breast coil and 3D acquisitions. To reduce the influence of fat, effective fat suppression schemes were developed that did not degrade SNR. To reduce the levels of ghosting artifacts, dummy scans have been integrated into the scanning protocol. Compared with results obtained at 3T, the standard deviation of the measured APT effect was reduced by a factor of four at 7T, allowing for the detection of APT effects with a standard deviation of 1% in the human breast at 7T. Together, these results demonstrate that the APT effect can be reliably detected in the healthy human breast with a high level of precision at 7T.

Rapid, High-resolution Quantitative Magnetization Transfer MRI of the Human Spinal Cord

NeuroImage. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24632465

Quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging can provide indices describing the interactions between free water protons and immobile macromolecular protons. These indices include the macromolecular proton fraction (MPF), which has been shown to correlate with myelin content in white matter. Because of the long scan times required for high-resolution spinal cord imaging, qMT studies of the human spinal cord have not found wide-spread application. Herein, we investigated whether these limitations could be overcome by utilizing only a single MT-weighted acquisition and a reference measurement, as was recently proposed in the brain. High-resolution, in vivo qMT data were obtained at 3.0T in the spinal cords of healthy volunteers and patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Low- and high-resolution acquisitions (low/high resolution=1×1×5mm(3)/0.65×0.65×5mm(3)) with clinically acceptable scan times (12min/7min) were evaluated. We also evaluated the reliability over time and the sensitivity of the model to the assumptions made in the single-point method, both in disease and healthy tissues. Our findings suggest that the single point qMT technique can provide maps of the MPF in the spinal cord in vivo with excellent grey/white matter contrast, can be reliably obtained within reasonable scan times, and are sensitive to MS pathology. Consistent with previous qMT studies in the brain, the observed MPF values were higher in healthy white matter (0.16±0.01) than in grey matter (0.13±0.01) and in MS lesions (0.09±0.01). The single point qMT technique applied at high resolution provides an improved method for obtaining qMT in the human spinal cord and may offer a reliable outcome measure for evaluating spinal cord disease.

Multi-parametric MRI Characterization of Healthy Human Thigh Muscles at 3.0 T - Relaxation, Magnetization Transfer, Fat/water, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging

NMR in Biomedicine. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25066274

Muscle diseases commonly have clinical presentations of inflammation, fat infiltration, fibrosis, and atrophy. However, the results of existing laboratory tests and clinical presentations are not well correlated. Advanced quantitative MRI techniques may allow the assessment of myo-pathological changes in a sensitive and objective manner. To progress towards this goal, an array of quantitative MRI protocols was implemented for human thigh muscles; their reproducibility was assessed; and the statistical relationships among parameters were determined. These quantitative methods included fat/water imaging, multiple spin-echo T2 imaging (with and without fat signal suppression, FS), selective inversion recovery for T1 and quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging (with and without FS), and diffusion tensor imaging. Data were acquired at 3.0 T from nine healthy subjects. To assess the repeatability of each method, the subjects were re-imaged an average of 35 days later. Pre-testing lifestyle restrictions were applied to standardize physiological conditions across scans. Strong between-day intra-class correlations were observed in all quantitative indices except for the macromolecular-to-free water pool size ratio (PSR) with FS, a metric derived from qMT data. Two-way analysis of variance revealed no significant between-day differences in the mean values for any parameter estimate. The repeatability was further assessed with Bland-Altman plots, and low repeatability coefficients were obtained for all parameters. Among-muscle differences in the quantitative MRI indices and inter-class correlations among the parameters were identified. There were inverse relationships between fractional anisotropy (FA) and the second eigenvalue, the third eigenvalue, and the standard deviation of the first eigenvector. The FA was positively related to the PSR, while the other diffusion indices were inversely related to the PSR. These findings support the use of these T1 , T2 , fat/water, and DTI protocols for characterizing skeletal muscle using MRI. Moreover, the data support the existence of a common biophysical mechanism, water content, as a source of variation in these parameters.

Proximal Nerve Magnetization Transfer MRI Relates to Disability in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Diseases

Neurology. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25253751

The objectives of this study were (1) to develop a novel magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) MRI assay of the proximal sciatic nerve (SN), which is inaccessible via current tools for assessing peripheral nerves, and (2) to evaluate the resulting MTR values as a potential biomarker of myelin content changes in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) diseases.

Fast T2 Mapping with Multiple Echo, Caesar Cipher Acquisition and Model-based Reconstruction

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 24753216

Fast, quantitative T2 mapping is of value to both clinical and research environments. However, many protocols utilizing fast spin echo (FSE) pulse sequences contain acceleration-induced artifacts that are compounded when fitting parameter maps, especially in the presence of imperfect refocusing. This work presents a B1 -corrected, model-based reconstruction and associated Cartesian FSE phase-encode ordering that provides enhanced accuracy in T2 estimates compared with other common accelerated protocols.

A Rapid Approach for Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging in Thigh Muscles Using the Pulsed Saturation Method

Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25839394

Quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) imaging in skeletal muscle may be confounded by intramuscular adipose components, low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), and voluntary and involuntary motion artifacts. Collectively, these issues could create bias and error in parameter fitting. In this study, technical considerations related to these factors were systematically investigated, and solutions were proposed. First, numerical simulations indicate that the presence of an additional fat component significantly underestimates the pool size ratio (F). Therefore, fat-signal suppression (or water-selective excitation) is recommended for qMT imaging of skeletal muscle. Second, to minimize the effect of motion and muscle contraction artifacts in datasets collected with a conventional 14-point sampling scheme, a rapid two-parameter model was adapted from previous studies in the brain and spinal cord. The consecutive pair of sampling points with highest accuracy and precision for estimating F was determined with numerical simulations. Its performance with respect to SNR and incorrect parameter assumptions was systematically evaluated. QMT data fitting was performed in healthy control subjects and polymyositis patients, using both the two- and five-parameter models. The experimental results were consistent with the predictions from the numerical simulations. These data support the use of the two-parameter modeling approach for qMT imaging of skeletal muscle as a means to reduce total imaging time and/or permit additional signal averaging.

4.7-T Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acute Traumatic Peripheral Nerve Injury

Neurosurgical Focus. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26323827

Diagnosis and management of peripheral nerve injury is complicated by the inability to assess microstructural features of injured nerve fibers via clinical examination and electrophysiology. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been shown to accurately detect nerve injury and regeneration in crush models of peripheral nerve injury, but no prior studies have been conducted on nerve transection, a surgical emergency that can lead to permanent weakness or paralysis. Acute sciatic nerve injuries were performed microsurgically to produce multiple grades of nerve transection in rats that were harvested 1 hour after surgery. High-resolution diffusion tensor images from ex vivo sciatic nerves were obtained using diffusion-weighted spin-echo acquisitions at 4.7 T. Fractional anisotropy was significantly reduced at the injury sites of transected rats compared with sham rats. Additionally, minor eigenvalues and radial diffusivity were profoundly elevated at all injury sites and were negatively correlated to the degree of injury. Diffusion tensor tractography showed discontinuities at all injury sites and significantly reduced continuous tract counts. These findings demonstrate that high-resolution DTI is a promising tool for acute diagnosis and grading of traumatic peripheral nerve injuries.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Cervical Spinal Cord in Multiple Sclerosis at 7T

Multiple Sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England). Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26209591

The clinical course of multiple sclerosis (MS) is mainly attributable to cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord dysfunction. High-resolution, 7T anatomical imaging of the cervical spinal cord is presented. Image contrast between gray/white matter and lesions surpasses conventional, clinical T1- and T2-weighted sequences at lower field strengths.

Investigating Hydroxyl Chemical Exchange Using a Variable Saturation Power Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (vCEST) Method at 3 T

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26414937

To develop a chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) scheme sensitive to hydroxyl protons at 3 T. Clinical imaging of hydroxyl moieties can have an impact on osteoarthritis, neuropsychiatric disorders, and cancer.

Incorporating Dixon Multi-echo Fat Water Separation for Novel Quantitative Magnetization Transfer of the Human Optic Nerve in Vivo

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27037720

The optic nerve (ON) represents the sole pathway between the eyes and brain; consequently, diseases of the ON can have dramatic effects on vision. However, quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) applications in the ON have been limited to ex vivo studies, in part because of the fatty connective tissue that surrounds the ON, confounding the magnetization transfer (MT) experiment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to implement a multi-echo Dixon fat-water separation approach to remove the fat component from MT images.

Fast and Simplified Mapping of Mean Axon Diameter Using Temporal Diffusion Spectroscopy

NMR in Biomedicine. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27077155

Mapping axon diameter is of interest for the potential diagnosis and monitoring of various neuronal pathologies. Advanced diffusion-weighted MRI methods have been developed to measure mean axon diameters non-invasively, but suffer major drawbacks that prevent their direct translation into clinical practice, such as complex non-linear data fitting and, more importantly, long scanning times that are usually not tolerable for most human subjects. In the current study, temporal diffusion spectroscopy using oscillating diffusion gradients was used to measure mean axon diameters with high sensitivity to small axons in the central nervous system. Axon diameters have been found to be correlated with a novel metric, DDR⊥ (the rate of dispersion of the perpendicular diffusion coefficient with gradient frequency), which is a model-free quantity that does not require complex data analyses and can be obtained from two diffusion coefficient measurements in clinically relevant times with conventional MRI machines. A comprehensive investigation including computer simulations and animal experiments ex vivo showed that measurements of DDR⊥ agree closely with histological data. In humans in vivo, DDR⊥ was also found to correlate well with reported mean axon diameters in human corpus callosum, and the total scan time was only about 8 min. In conclusion, DDR⊥ may have potential to serve as a fast, simple and model-free approach to map the mean axon diameter of white matter in clinics for assessing axon diameter changes.

A Novel Technique Using Hydrophilic Polymers to Promote Axonal Fusion

Neural Regeneration Research. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27212898

The management of traumatic peripheral nerve injury remains a considerable concern for clinicians. With minimal innovations in surgical technique and a limited number of specialists trained to treat peripheral nerve injury, outcomes of surgical intervention have been unpredictable. The inability to manipulate the pathophysiology of nerve injury (i.e., Wallerian degeneration) has left scientists and clinicians depending on the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/day). When axons are severed, the endings undergo calcium-mediated plasmalemmal sealing, which limits the ability of the axon to be primarily repaired. Polythethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with a bioengineered process overcomes the inability to fuse axons. The mechanism for PEG axonal fusion is not clearly understood, but multiple studies have shown that a providing a calcium-free environment is essential to the process known as PEG fusion. The proposed mechanism is PEG-induced lipid bilayer fusion by removing the hydration barrier surrounding the axolemma and reducing the activation energy required for membrane fusion to occur. This review highlights PEG fusion, its past and current studies, and future directions in PEG fusion.

Post-contractile BOLD Contrast in Skeletal Muscle at 7 T Reveals Inter-individual Heterogeneity in the Physiological Responses to Muscle Contraction

NMR in Biomedicine. Dec, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27753155

Muscle blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) contrast is greater in magnitude and potentially more influenced by extravascular BOLD mechanisms at 7 T than it is at lower field strengths. Muscle BOLD imaging of muscle contractions at 7 T could, therefore, provide greater or different contrast than at 3 T. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using BOLD imaging at 7 T to assess the physiological responses to in vivo muscle contractions. Thirteen subjects (four females) performed a series of isometric contractions of the calf muscles while being scanned in a Philips Achieva 7 T human imager. Following 2 s maximal isometric plantarflexion contractions, BOLD signal transients ranging from 0.3 to 7.0% of the pre-contraction signal intensity were observed in the soleus muscle. We observed considerable inter-subject variability in both the magnitude and time course of the muscle BOLD signal. A subset of subjects (n = 7) repeated the contraction protocol at two different repetition times (TR : 1000 and 2500 ms) to determine the potential of T1 -related inflow effects on the magnitude of the post-contractile BOLD response. Consistent with previous reports, there was no difference in the magnitude of the responses for the two TR values (3.8 ± 0.9 versus 4.0 ± 0.6% for TR  = 1000 and 2500 ms, respectively; mean ± standard error). These results demonstrate that studies of the muscle BOLD responses to contractions are feasible at 7 T. Compared with studies at lower field strengths, post-contractile 7 T muscle BOLD contrast may afford greater insight into microvascular function and dysfunction.

A Novel Therapy to Promote Axonal Fusion in Human Digital Nerves

The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27768666

Peripheral nerve injury can have a devastating impact on our military and veteran population. Current strategies for peripheral nerve repair include techniques such as nerve tubes, nerve grafts, tissue matrices, and nerve growth guides to enhance the number of regenerating axons. Even with such advanced techniques, it takes months to regain function. In animal models, polyethylene glycol (PEG) therapy has shown to improve both physiologic and behavioral outcomes after nerve transection by fusion of a portion of the proximal axons to the distal axon stumps. The objective of this study was to show the efficacy of PEG fusion in humans and to retrospectively compare PEG fusion to standard nerve repair.

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