Eric E. Sigmund1, Dmitry S. Novikov1, Steven Baete1, Kecheng Liu2, Jenny Bencardino3, Els Fieremans4
1Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York, NY, United States; 2Siemens Medical Systems, Cleveland, OH, United States; 3Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, United States; 4Radiology, New York University, New York, NY, United States
The microstructural sensitivity of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) depends upon the experimental diffusion time. Combining time-dependent diffusion measurements with appropriate tissue modelling may enhance specificity by directly quantifying microstructure. We analyzed time-dependent stimulated echo DTI at 3 T in skeletal muscle of normal controls and suspected chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) patients, before and after exercise, and used the random permeable barrier model to quantify free diffusion, fiber diameter, and membrane permeability. Overall, patients showed significantly larger free diffusion changes, smaller diameter changes, and larger permeability increases than controls. Results are considered in light of microscopic changes in CECS pathophysiology.