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Abstract #3180

Measuring motor unit morphology in upper extremities using motor unit magnetic resonance imaging (MUMRI)

Matthew Birkbeck1,2,3, Linda Heskamp1, Ian Schofield1, Roger Whittaker1, and Andrew Blamire1
1Translational and Clinical Research Unit, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 2Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 3Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Motor unit (MU) magnetic resonance imaging (MUMRI) is a non-invasive technique which detects muscle fibre micro-contraction and is based on diffusion weighted MRI. To date MUMRI has been applied in conjunction with in scanner electrical stimulation to study MU activity in the lower leg. Here we present the first use of MUMRI in the upper limbs to study single human MUs. The acquired images show low levels of distortion and good fat suppression, allowing single human MU sizes and shapes to be determined. This is of interest in neuromuscular diseases as it is a non-invasive way to study MU morphology.

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