[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Puckered, dimply skin on the thighs, hips, and buttocks is known as cellulite. The cause of cellulite is not known, although there are a number of different hypotheses. In this study, we use magnetic resonance (MR) micro-imaging to study cellulite skin. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported MR study of cellulite.
High-resolution in vivo MR images of the postlateral thigh skin of two male groups and four female groups were obtained. Subjects were grouped according to their body mass index (BMI) and cellulite grade. A qualitative assessment of how MRI can be used to differentiate skin tissue at different levels of cellulite grading was performed.
We found that changes in skin architecture with cellulite can be visualized by in vivo MR micro-imaging. The skin fat layers beneath the dermis and down to the level of muscles are well visualized in the images. Also, the diffuse pattern of extrusion of underlying adipose tissue into dermis is clearly imaged, and was found to correlate with cellulite grading. We also show that other skin tissue parameters such as (a) the percentile of adipose vs. connective tissue in a given volume of hypodermis and (b) the percentile of hypodermic invaginations inside the dermis are correlated with cellulite grade.
MR images can be interpreted to measure tissue parameters correlated with cellulite. Considering that we had only three subjects in each group, the achievements of this pilot study were highly satisfactory. We have shown that the in vivo micro-MR is a technique able to detect the effects of cellulite and gender. This study can be extended for further investigations of drugs and/or medical devices for cellulite treatment.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2004 · Skin Research and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A magnetic resonance imaging technique that enables indirect detection of neuronal activity has been developed for the spinal cord. In the present study, this method, spinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), is applied to the first study of the injured spinal cord, with the goal of better clinical assessment of the entire cord.
The objectives of this project are: (1) to investigate the neuronal activity that can be detected in the spinal cord caudal to a chronic injury by means of spinal fMRI, and (2) to develop spinal fMRI as a clinical diagnostic tool.
Institute for Biodiagnostics, National Research Council of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
fMRI of the spinal cord was carried out in 27 volunteers with cervical or thoracic spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Of these volunteers, 18 had complete injuries, and nine had incomplete injuries. Spinal fMRI was carried out in a 1.5 T clinical MR system, using established methods. Thermal stimulation at 10 degrees C was applied to the fourth lumbar dermatome on each leg, and images were obtained of the entire lumbar spinal cord.
Areas of neuronal activity were consistently observed in the lumbar spinal cord in response to the thermal stimulation, even when the subjects had no awareness of the sensation. The pattern of activity was notably different compared with noninjured subjects. In general, subjects with complete SCI showed absent or diminished dorsal gray matter activity, but had enhanced ventral activity, particularly contralateral to the stimulation.
Spinal fMRI is able to provide a noninvasive assessment of the injured spinal cord that does not depend on the patient's perception of the stimulus being applied. This work was carried out on a standard clinical MRI system without modification, and so is readily applicable in most MR units.
This work was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of the human brain were carried out at 3 Tesla to investigate an fMRI contrast mechanism that does not arise from the blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) effect. This contrast mechanism, signal enhancement by extravascular protons (SEEP), involves only proton-density changes and was recently demonstrated to contribute to fMRI signal changes in the spinal cord. In the present study it is hypothesized that SEEP fMRI can be used to identify areas of neuronal activity in the brain with as much sensitivity and precision as can be achieved with BOLD fMRI. A detailed analysis of the areas of activity, signal intensity time courses, and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), is also presented and compared with the BOLD fMRI results. Experiments were carried out with subjects performing a simple finger-touching task, or observing an alternating checkerboard pattern. Data were acquired using a conventional BOLD fMRI method (gradient-echo (GE) EPI, TE = 30 ms), a conventional method with reduced BOLD sensitivity (GE-EPI, TE = 12 ms), and SEEP fMRI (spin-echo (SE) EPI, TE = 22 ms). The results of this study demonstrate that SEEP fMRI may provide better spatial localization of areas of neuronal activity, and a higher CNR than conventional BOLD fMRI, and has the added benefit of lower sensitivity to field inhomogeneities.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2003 · Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human spinal cord is carried out with a graded thermal stimulus in order to establish the relationship between signal changes and neural activity. Studies of the lumbar spinal cord in 15 healthy subjects with 10 degrees C stimulation of the skin overlying the calf demonstrate a pattern of activity that matches the neuronal anatomy of the spinal cord. This pattern shows primarily dorsal horn activity, with expected components of motor reflex activity as well. Moreover, a later response shifting to noxious cold over time is also demonstrated with a shift to more dorsal horn activity. Signal intensity changes detected at different degrees of thermal stimulation have a biphasic nature, with much larger signal changes below 15 degrees C as the stimulus becomes noxious, and agree well with electrophysiological results reported in the literature. These findings demonstrate a strong correspondence between Spinal fMRI results and neural activity in the human spinal cord. Spinal fMRI is also applied to studies of the injured spinal cord, below the site of injury. Results consistently demonstrate activity in the spinal cord even when the subjects cannot feel the stimulus being applied. Signal intensity changes demonstrate the same stimulus-response pattern as that in noninjured subjects, but the areas of activity in the spinal gray matter are notably altered. In subjects with complete injuries, activity is absent ipsilateral to the thermal stimulation, but appears to be enhanced on the contralateral side. These findings demonstrate the reliability of Spinal fMRI and its clinical potential.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fractional signal intensity change (Delta S/S) observed during activation in T(2)-weighted fMRI of the spinal cord has previously been shown to depend linearly on the echo time (TE) but to have a positive value of roughly 2.5% extrapolated to zero TE. In this study we investigated the origin of this finding by measuring the Delta S/S in spinal fMRI with very short TEs. Our results demonstrate that the Delta S/S does not approach zero, but has a value as high as 3.3% at TE = 11 ms. At TEs > 33 ms we observed the linear relationship between Delta S/S and TE as in previous studies. These data demonstrate that there is a non-BOLD contribution to signal changes observed in spinal fMRI. We hypothesize that this contribution is a local proton density increase due to increased water exudation from capillaries with increased blood flow during neuronal activation, and term this effect "signal enhancement by extravascular protons" (SEEP).
No preview · Article · Jul 2002 · Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional MR imaging (fMRI) of the cervical spinal cord was carried out in 13 healthy volunteers. A cold stimulus was applied, at different times, to three different sensory dermatome regions overlying the right hand and forearm: the thumb side of the palm, the little finger side of the palm, and the forearm below the elbow. Stimulation of these areas is expected to involve the 6(th), 8(th), and 5(th) cervical spinal cord segments respectively. Whereas true activations are expected to correspond to the region being stimulated, false activations such as arising from noise and motion, are not. The results demonstrate that clustering of active pixels into groups based on their intensity time courses discriminates false activations from true activations. Following clustering, the distribution of activity observed with fMRI matched the expected regions of neuronal activation with the different areas of stimulation on the hand and forearm.
No preview · Article · Feb 2002 · Magnetic Resonance Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blood-oxygen level dependent signal changes in the visual cortex were investigated as a function of echo time with spin-echo and gradient-echo EPI at 1.5 T and 3 T. The linear relationship between the fractional signal change and the echo time was apparent in all cases. Relaxation rate changes determined from the slope of this linear relation agree with published values, intercept values extrapolated to an echo time of zero, however, were 0.66% to 1.0% with spin-echo EPI, and 0.11% to 0.35% with gradient-echo EPI. Spin-echo and gradient-echo EPI can therefore yield similar signal changes at sufficiently short echo times.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2001 · Magnetic Resonance Imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contrast changes observed in functional magnetic resonance imaging in the human spinal cord were investigated with both motor and sensory tasks over a range of echo times. Data were acquired using a single-shot fast spin-echo sequence at 1.5 Tesla. Data were analyzed with two different correlation thresholds and the effects of altering the order of repeated experiments was also investigated. Plots of the fractional signal change as a function of echo time yielded linear functions with slopes corresponding to relaxation rate changes of -0.30 sec(-1) with sensory stimulation and approximately -0.50 sec(-1) with a motor task. However, the fractional signal change extrapolated to an echo time of zero was significantly greater than zero in each case and was roughly 2.5%. This suggests that in addition to the BOLD effect there is a baseline signal change which occurs concomitant to neuronal activation in the spinal cord.
No preview · Article · Aug 2001 · Magnetic Resonance Imaging