European Radiology

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 4662–4668 | Cite as

Monitoring skeletal muscle chronic fatty degenerations with fast T1-mapping

  • Benjamin MartyEmail author
  • Bertrand Coppa
  • Pierre G. Carlier



To develop a fast, high-resolution T1-mapping sequence dedicated to skeletal muscle imaging, and to evaluate the potential of T1 as a robust and sensitive biomarker for the monitoring of chronic fatty degenerations in a dystrophic disease.


The magnetic resonance imaging sequence consisted of the acquisition of a 1,000-radial-spokes FLASH echo-train following magnetisation inversion, resulting in 10s scan time per slice. Temporal image series were reconstructed using compressed sensing and T1 maps were computed using Bloch simulations. Ten healthy volunteers and 30 patients suffering from Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) participated in this prospective study, in order to evaluate the repeatability, the precision and the sensitivity of the proposed approach. Intramuscular fat fraction (FF) was also measured using a standard three-point Dixon method. The protocol was approved by a local ethics committee.


The mean T1 evaluated in the thighs muscles of healthy volunteers was 1,199 ± 45 ms, with a coefficient of reproducibility of 2.3%. Mean T1 values were statistically decreased in the thighs of BMD patients and were linearly correlated with intramuscular FF (R = -0.98).


T1-mapping is a good candidate for fast, sensitive and quantitative monitoring of fatty infiltrations in neuromuscular disorders.

Key Points

• A T1 mapping sequence dedicated to skeletal muscle imaging was implemented.

• The acquisition time was 10 s per slice.

• Muscle T1 values were significantly decreased in dystrophic muscles compared to healthy muscles.

• T1 values correlated with intramuscular fat fraction measured by three-point Dixon.

• T1 represents an alternative biomarker for monitoring fatty infiltrations in neuromuscular disorders.


Magnetic resonance imaging; Skeletal muscle Fatty tissue Quantitative evaluation Image reconstruction 



Becker muscular dystrophy


Echo spacing


Flip angle


Fat fraction


Fast low angle shot


Golden angle


Magnetic resonance imaging


Neuromuscular disorder


Longitudinal relaxation time


Transverse relaxation time


Acquisition time


Delay time


Echo time



The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Benjamin Marty, Ph.D.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• prospective

• experimental

• performed at one institution

Supplementary material

330_2018_5433_MOESM1_ESM.docx (305 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 304 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Myology, NMR Laboratory, Bâtiment BabinskiGroupe Hospitalier Pitié-SalpêtrièreParis Cedex 13France
  2. 2.CEA, DRF, IBFJ, MIRCen, NMR LaboratoryParisFrance

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