Title

Longitudinal evaluation of myofiber microstructural changes in a preclinical ALS model using the transverse relaxivity at tracer equilibrium (TRATE): A preliminary study

Document Type

Article

Abstract

T2⁎ relaxivity contrast imaging may serve as a potential imaging biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by noninvasively quantifying the tissue microstructure. In this preliminary longitudinal study, we investigated the Transverse Relaxivity at Tracer Equilibrium (TRATE) in three muscle groups between SOD1-G93A (ALS model) rat and a control population at two different timepoints. The control group was time matched to the ALS group such that the second timepoint was the onset of disease. We observed a statistically significant decrease in TRATE over time in the gastrocnemius, tibialis, and digital flexor muscles in the SOD1-G93A model (p-value = 0.003, 0.008, 0.005; respectively), whereas TRATE did not change over time in the control group (p-value = 0.4777, 0.6837, 0.9682; respectively). Immunofluorescent staining revealed a decrease in minimum fiber area and cell density in the SOD1-G93A model when compared to the control group (p-value = 6.043E-10 and 2.265E-10, respectively). These microstructural changes observed from histology align with the theorized biophysical properties of TRATE. We demonstrate that TRATE can longitudinally differentiate disease associated atrophy from healthy muscle and has potential to serve as a biomarker for disease progression and ultimately therapy response in patients with ALS.

Keywords

ALS, MRI, Muscle imaging, Perfusion imaging, Relaxivity imaging

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Publication Title

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ISSN

0730725X

E-ISSN

18735894

Volume

85

First Page

217

Last Page

221

PubMed ID

34715291

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.mri.2021.10.036

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