Quantitative MR evaluation of body composition in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Anna Pichiecchio, Carla Uggetti, Maria Grazia Egitto, Angela Berardinelli, Simona Orcesi, K. O T Gorni, Cristina Zanardi, Anna Tagliabue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to propose a quantitative MR protocol with very short acquisition time and good reliability in volume construction, for the evaluation of body composition in patients affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). This MR protocol was compared with common anthropometric evaluations of the same patients. Nine boys affected by DMD, ranging in age from 6 to 12 years, were selected to undergo MR examination. Transversal T1-weighted spin-echo sequences (0.5T; TR 300 ms, TE 10 ms, slice thickness 10 mm, slice gap 1 mm) were used for all acquisitions, each consisting of 8 slices and lasting just 54 s. Whole-body examination needed an average of nine acquisitions. Afterwards, images were downloaded to an independent workstation and, through their electronic segmentation with a reference filter, total volume and adipose tissue volumes were calculated manually. This process took up to 2 h for each patient. The MR data were compared with anthropometric evaluations. Affected children have a marked increase in adipose tissue and a decrease in lean tissue compared with reference healthy controls. Mean fat mass calculated by MR is significantly higher than mean fat mass obtained using anthropometric measurements (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2704-2709
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Children
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • MR imaging
  • Muscle disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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