Objective: Many exercise protocols used in physiological studies assume homogeneous and diffuse muscle recruitment. To test this assumption during a “standard” wrist flexion protocol, variations in muscle recruitment were assessed using MRI in eight healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: Variations were assessed by comparing the right to the left forearms and the effect of slight (15°) pronation or supination at the wrist. Results: Postexercise imaging showed focal regions of increased signal intensity (SI), indicating relatively strong recruitment, most often in entire muscles, although occasionally only in subvolumes of muscles. In 15 of 26 studies, flexor carpi radialis (FCR) showed more SI than flexor carpi ulnaris, while in 11 studies SI in these muscles increased equivalently. Relatively greater FCR recruitment was seen during pronation and/or use of the nondominant side. Palmaris longus, a wrist flexor, did not appear recruited in 4 of 11 forearms in which it was present. A portion of the superficial finger flexor became hyper- intense in 89% of studies, while recruitment of the deep finger flexor was seen only in 43%. Conclusion: Inter- and intraindividual variations in forearm muscle recruitment should be anticipated in physiological studies of standard wrist flexion exercise protocols.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging