3D Musculoskeletal Kinematics Using Dynamic MRI

  • Frances T. Sheehan
  • Richard M. Smith
Reference work entry


Until the early 1990s, the tools available to measure musculoskeletal motion were typically highly invasive. Thus, knowledge of musculoskeletal system dynamics was primarily derived through cadaver and modeling experiments. The rapid development of dynamic magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques changed this and opened vast new opportunities for the study of 3D musculoskeletal dynamics during volitional activities. Today, dynamic MR methodologies remain the only techniques that can noninvasively track in vivo 3D musculoskeletal movement.

One difficulty in applying these dynamic MR techniques to the study of musculoskeletal motion is the complex interplay of parameters that affect the spatial/temporal resolution, accuracy, and precision. The purpose of this chapter is to first provide an explanation of the fundamental principles behind two of these dynamic imaging techniques, cine and cine phase-contrast MR. Tagged cine MR is another technique that has been primarily used to track muscle motion and strain but will not be addressed. In doing so, this will create a platform for future experimental designs using dynamic MR. This will be followed by a review of the accuracies, the advantages, and disadvantages of the these dynamic MR methods. Finally, several previously published studies will be highlighted to provide an explanation of how these techniques can be applied and what main challenges must be considered for future experiments using dynamic MR.


MR Magnetic resonance imaging Cine Cine phase contrast Fastcard CPC Fast-PC Musculoskeletal Kinematics Strain Moment arms Tendon 



This work was funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA. This research was also made possible through the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, a public-private partnership ( We thank Judith Welsh for her help and support in the work.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Functional and Applied Biomechanics SectionNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • William Scott Selbie
    • 1
  1. 1.Has-Motion Inc.KingstonCanada

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