Theodore F. Towse1, 2, Amanda K.W. Buck2, 3, Emily C. Bush3, Benjamin T. Childs3, Jared A. Godar3, Shea A. Sabin3, Bruce M. Damon2, 4
1Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States; 2Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States; 3Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States; 4Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States
Studies at 1.5 and 3 tesla suggest the skeletal muscle blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast is primarily due to intravascular changes in hemoglobin saturation and blood volume. As such BOLD based imaging of skeletal muscle provides a powerful tool for exploring the coupling of muscle blood flow and muscle energetics non-invasively. At ultra high field strengths, where the T2star of blood is very short, 15ms or less, the muscle BOLD contrast may be more sensitive to the vascular architecture. If this is the case BOLD based imaging may be capable of quantifying changes in the peripheral vascular anatomy as a consequence of chronic disease or in response to an intervention such as exercise training. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of BOLD based imaging in skeletal muscle and to compare these results to studies at 3T.