31P MR spectroscopic studies of forearm exercise frequently assume that the volume sampled is appropriate for the muscle of interest and that individual variations in muscle anatomy and use are not important. Postexercise MR imaging was used to assess variations in the size, location, and use of forearm flexors and the accuracy of palpation as a method for locating the muscle of interest. By using the information obtained with MR, the effects of errors in surface-coil position relative to the muscle of interest on 31P MR spectroscopy were examined. In the midforearm of seven men, the greatest diameter of the flexor carpi ulnaris was 29 ± 4 mm, and that of the flexor digitorum superficialis was 28 ± 6 mm. However, in the proximal forearm, 58 ± 10% of the diameter was covered by the palmaris longus, when present (79% of subjects). An unexpected finding was that a focal portion of the superficial finger flexor was used primarily as a wrist flexor in 26% of subjects. Palpation incorrectly identified flexor muscle margins by more than 15 mm in 50% of attempts. When a surface coil was positioned over wrist flexors during handgrip, attenuation of exercise-induced changes in 31P spectra resulted. Exercise-handgrip, attenuation of exercise-induced changes in 31P spectra resulted. Exercise-enhanced MR imaging reveals variations in forearm muscle anatomy and use that are common and difficult to appreciable by palpation. It therefore allows improved localization of the sensitive volume of MR spectroscopic studies of muscle physiology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging