Sandra Loerakker1, Cees W. J. Oomens1, Emmy Manders1, Tim Schakel2, Dan L. Bader1,3, Frank P. T. Baaijens1, Klaas Nicolay2, Gustav J. Strijkers2
1Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands; 2Biomedical NMR, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands; 3Department of Engineering and IRC in Biomedical Materials, Queen Mary, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Pressure ulcers are localized areas of soft tissue breakdown due to mechanical loading. Ischemia-reperfusion injury may play an important role in the etiology of pressure ulcers. Here we investigated the local interrelation between post-ischemic perfusion and muscle damage in the hindlimbs of rats, using DCE-MRI to investigate muscle perfusion and quantitative T2 MRI to assess muscle damage. DCE-MRI revealed the presence of no-reflow areas in the hindlimb subjected to ischemia and reperfusion, associated with a post-ischemic increase in T2 and additional muscle damage. The influence of reperfusion is heterogeneous, which must be considered when designing appropriate pressure relief strategies.