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Abstract #0073

Using transverse diffusion to measure changes in muscle fibre number and muscle fibre size during childhood growth in humans

Bart Bolsterlee1,2, Arkiev D'Souza1,3, and Robert D Herbert1,3
1Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, Australia, 2Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Randwick, Australia, 3School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Randwick, Australia

We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study macroscopic and microscopic features of skeletal muscles during childhood development (5-17 years). From muscle volume and fibre length measurements, we determined the summed cross-sectional area of all fibres. From measurements of diffusion properties and simulations of restricted diffusion in skeletal muscle, we estimated mean cross-sectional areas of individual fibres. Our findings suggest that human muscles grow both by adding fibres and by increasing fibre cross-sectional areas. DTI-based measurements of skeletal muscle micro- and macrostructure could have important applications in understanding both normal and disordered muscle growth.

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