Muscle Quantitative MR Imaging and Clustering Analysis in Patients with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Type 1
The purpose of this study was to implement a quantitative MR imaging method for the determination of muscular and fat content in individual skeletal muscles of patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Turbo Inversion Recovery Magnitude (TIRM) and multiecho MR images were acquired from seven FSHD patients and healthy volunteers. Signal decay in the multiecho MR images was fitted to a biexponential function with fixed relaxation rates for muscle and fat tissue and used to calculate the degree of fatty infiltration in eight muscles in the lower leg. Considerable differences in fatty infiltration between different muscles were observed in FSHD patients, suggesting that this could be used as a biomarker for disease progression. TIRM imaging indicated an inflammatory component of the disease previously only observed in muscle biopsies. Typically, muscle involvement was non-uniform even within one muscle, indicating that MRI can be used as a valuable tool to study pathophysiology and therapy evaluation in FSHD.