Get access

Magnetic resonance imaging of muscle disease: A pattern-based approach

Authors

  • Andreu F. Costa MD, MSc,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gina A. Di Primio MD, FRCPC,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada
    2. Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • Department of Medical Imaging, Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark E. Schweitzer MD

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada
    2. Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool to assess the severity, distribution, and progression of muscle injury and disease. However, a muscle's response to a pathological insult is limited to only a few patterns on MRI, and findings can be nonspecific. A pattern-based approach is therefore essential to correctly interpret MR studies of abnormal muscle. In this article we review the anatomy, function, and normal MRI appearance of skeletal muscle. We present a classification scheme that categorizes abnormal MR appearances of muscle into 4 main pattern descriptors: (1) distribution; (2) change in size and shape; (3) T1 signal; and (4) T2 signal. Each category is further subdivided into the various patterns seen on MRI. Such an approach allows one to systematically assess abnormal findings on muscle MRI studies and ascertain clues to the diagnosis or differential diagnosis, particularly when findings are correlated with the clinical context. Muscle Nerve 46: 520–481, 2012

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary