Quantitative evaluation of skeletal muscle defects in second harmonic generation images.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Light Imaging Section, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
Journal of Biomedical Optics (Impact Factor: 2.75). 02/2013; 18(2):26005. DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.2.026005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Skeletal muscle pathologies cause irregularities in the normally periodic organization of the myofibrils. Objective grading of muscle morphology is necessary to assess muscle health, compare biopsies, and evaluate treatments and the evolution of disease. To facilitate such quantitation, we have developed a fast, sensitive, automatic imaging analysis software. It detects major and minor morphological changes by combining texture features and Fourier transform (FT) techniques. We apply this tool to second harmonic generation (SHG) images of muscle fibers which visualize the repeating myosin bands. Texture features are then calculated by using a Haralick gray-level cooccurrence matrix in MATLAB. Two scores are retrieved from the texture correlation plot by using FT and curve-fitting methods. The sensitivity of the technique was tested on SHG images of human adult and infant muscle biopsies and of mouse muscle samples. The scores are strongly correlated to muscle fiber condition. We named the software MARS (muscle assessment and rating scores). It is executed automatically and is highly sensitive even to subtle defects. We propose MARS as a powerful and unbiased tool to assess muscle health.

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