Texture Features of Proton Density Fat Fraction Maps from Chemical Shift Encoding-Based MRI Predict Paraspinal Muscle Strength

Michael Dieckmeyer (Lead / Corresponding author), Stephanie Inhuber, Sarah Schlaeger, Dominik Weidlich, Muthu Rama Krishnan Mookiah, Karupppasamy Subburaj, Egon Burian, Nico Sollmann, Jan S. Kirschke, Dimitrios C. Karampinos, Thomas Baum

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Abstract

Texture analysis (TA) has shown promise as a surrogate marker for tissue structure, based on conventional and quantitative MRI sequences. Chemical-shift-encoding-based MRI (CSE-MRI)-derived proton density fat fraction (PDFF) of paraspinal muscles has been associated with various medical conditions including lumbar back pain (LBP) and neuromuscular diseases (NMD). Its application has been shown to improve the prediction of paraspinal muscle strength beyond muscle volume. Since mean PDFF values do not fully reflect muscle tissue structure, the purpose of our study was to investigate PDFF-based TA of paraspinal muscles as a predictor of muscle strength, as compared to mean PDFF. We performed 3T-MRI of the lumbar spine in 26 healthy subjects (age = 30 ± 6 years; 15 females) using a six-echo 3D spoiled gradient echo sequence for chemical-shift-encoding-based water-fat separation. Erector spinae (ES) and psoas (PS) muscles were segmented bilaterally from level L2-L5 to extract mean PDFF and texture features. Muscle flexion and extension strength was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer. Out of the eleven texture features extracted for each muscle, Kurtosis(global) of ES showed the highest significant correlation (r = 0.59, p = 0.001) with extension strength and Variance(global) of PS showed the highest significant correlation (r = 0.63, p = 0.001) with flexion strength. Using multivariate linear regression models, Kurtosis(global) of ES and BMI were identified as significant predictors of extension strength (R2adj = 0.42; p < 0.001), and Variance(global) and Skewness(global) of PS were identified as significant predictors of flexion strength (R2adj = 0.59; p = 0.001), while mean PDFF was not identified as a significant predictor. TA of CSE-MRI-based PDFF maps improves the prediction of paraspinal muscle strength beyond mean PDFF, potentially reflecting the ability to quantify the pattern of muscular fat infiltration. In the future, this may help to improve the pathophysiological understanding, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment evaluation of diseases with paraspinal muscle involvement, e.g., NMD and LBP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number239
Number of pages14
JournalDiagnostics
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • texture analysis
  • proton density fat fraction
  • paraspinal muscles
  • muscle strength

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