3-D MRI DTI may help detect muscle injuries that occur as result of long-distance running

The results of a study indicate that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Diffusion-Tensor Imaging (DTI) could be used for the prognosis and treatment of sports injuries in athletes. The researchers obtained DTI Three-dimensional (3-D) measurements of the upper leg from the hip to the knee, including the hamstring and other susceptible muscles, in a single imaging session. The technique revealed changes that qualitative T2-weighted MR imaging with fat suppression was not able to show, and could be used to help clinicians detect long-term changes in the upper leg from sports-related muscle injuries.
The researchers evaluated five male amateur long-distance runners using a 3-T MR examination of both upper legs at three points in time. The exams took place one week before, two days after, and three weeks aft er the runners took part in a marathon. A musculoskeletal radiologist used three grades to evaluate the level of muscle injury using T2-weighted images with fat suppression. The radiologist noted the specific muscle and its location, the craniocaudal, and axial length of the hemorrhage and/or edema, and manually segmented six muscles in both upper legs based on T1- and T2-weighted images.
Lead author of the study, Martijn Froeling, PhD, at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands), said,