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Quantitative Muscle MRI as an Assessment Tool for Monitoring Disease Progression in LGMD2I: A Multicentre Longitudinal Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tracey Willis, Dr Kieren Hollingsworth, Dr Michelle Eagle, Dr Anna Mayhew, Emerita Professor Katherine Bushby, Professor Hanns Lochmuller, Professor Michael Hanna, Professor Volker StraubORCiD



Background: Outcome measures for clinical trials in neuromuscular diseases are typically based on physical assessments which are dependent on patient effort, combine the effort of different muscle groups, and may not be sensitive to progression over short trial periods in slow-progressing diseases. We hypothesised that quantitative fat imaging by MRI (Dixon technique) could provide more discriminating quantitative, patient-independent measurements of the progress of muscle fat replacement within individual muscle groups. Objective: To determine whether quantitative fat imaging could measure disease progression in a cohort of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I) patients over a 12 month period. Methods: 32 adult patients (17 male; 15 female) from 4 European tertiary referral centres with the homozygous c.826C>A mutation in the fukutin-related protein gene (FKRP) completed baseline and follow up measurements 12 months later. Quantitative fat imaging was performed and muscle fat fraction change was compared with (i) muscle strength and function assessed using standardized physical tests and (ii) standard T1-weighted MRI graded on a 6 point scale. Results: There was a significant increase in muscle fat fraction in 9 of the 14 muscles analyzed using the quantitative MRI technique from baseline to 12 months follow up. Changes were not seen in the conventional longitudinal physical assessments or in qualitative scoring of the T(1)w images. Conclusions: Quantitative muscle MRI, using the Dixon technique, could be used as an important longitudinal outcome measure to assess muscle pathology and monitor therapeutic efficacy in patients with LGMD2I.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Willis TA, Hollingsworth KG, Coombs A, Sveen ML, Andersen S, Stojkovic T, Eagle M, Mayhew A, de Sousa PL, Dewar L, Morrow JM, Sinclair CDJ, Thornton JS, Bushby K, Lochmuller H, Hanna MG, Hogrel JY, Carlier PG, Vissing J, Straub V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2013

Volume: 8

Issue: 8

Print publication date: 14/08/2013

Date deposited: 29/11/2013

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070993


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Funder referenceFunder name
Association Francaise contre les Myopathies
MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease
Sara and Ludvig Elsass Foundation, Denmark
UCL/UCLH NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre
Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, UK
G1100160MRC NIRG