• The effect of ageing on skeletal muscle as assessed by quantitative MR imaging: an association with frailty and muscle strength

      Farrow, Matthew; Biglands, J.; Tanner, S.F.; Clegg, A.; Brown, L.; Hensor, E.M.A.; O'Connor, P.; Emery, P.; Tan, A.L. (2020-02)
      Background: Skeletal muscles undergo changes with ageing which can cause sarcopenia that can result in frailty. Quantitative MRI may detect the muscle-deficit component of frailty which could help improve the understanding of ageing muscles. Aims: To investigate whether quantitative MRI measures of T2, fat fraction (FF), diffusion tensor imaging and muscle volume can detect differences within the muscles between three age groups, and to assess how these measures compare with frailty index, gait speed and muscle power. Methods: 18 ‘young’ (18–30 years), 18 ‘middle-aged’ (31–68 years) and 18 ‘older’ (> 69 years) healthy participants were recruited. Participants had an MRI of their dominant thigh. Knee extension and flexion power and handgrip strength were measured. Frailty (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing frailty index) and gait speed were measured in the older participants. Results: Young participants had a lower muscle MRI T2, FF and mean diffusivity than middle-aged and older participants; middle-aged participants had lower values than older participants. Young participants had greater muscle flexion and extension power, muscle volume and stronger hand grip than middle-aged and older participants; middle-aged participants had greater values than the older participants. Quantitative MRI measurements correlated with frailty index, gait speed, grip strength and muscle power. Discussion: Quantitative MRI and strength measurements can detect muscle differences due to ageing. Older participants had raised T2, FF and mean diffusivity and lower muscle volume, grip strength and muscle power. Conclusions: Quantitative MRI measurements correlate with frailty and muscle function and could be used for identifying differences across age groups within muscle.
    • Quantitative MRI in myositis patients: comparison with healthy volunteers and radiological visual assessment

      Farrow, Matthew; Biglands, J.D.; Grainger, A.J.; O'Connor, P.; Hensor, E.M.A.; Ladas, A.; Tanner, S.F.; Emergy, P.; Tan, A.L. (2021-01-01)
      To assess whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based measurements of T2, fat fraction, diffusion tensor imaging, and muscle volume can detect differences between the muscles of myositis patients and healthy controls, and to identify how they compare with semi-quantitative MRI diagnosis. Sixteen myositis patients and 16 age- and gender-matched healthy controls underwent MRI of their thigh. Quantitative MRI measurements and radiologists' semi-quantitative scores were assessed. Strength was assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer. Fat fraction and T2 values were higher in myositis patients whereas muscle volume was lower compared to healthy controls. There was no difference in diffusion. Muscle strength was lower in myositis patients compared to healthy controls. In a subgroup of eight patients, scored as unaffected by radiologists, T2 values were still significantly higher in myositis patients. Quantitative MRI measurements can detect differences between myositis patients and healthy controls. Changes in the muscles of myositis patients, undetected by visual, semi-quantitative scoring, can be detected using quantitative T2 measurements. This suggests that MRI T2 values may be useful for the management of myositis patients.