Feasibility of peripheral nerve MR neurography using diffusion tensor imaging adapted to skeletal muscle disease

Sarah Keller, Zhiyue J. Wang, Amir Golsari, Anne Catherine Kim, Hendrik Kooijman, Gerhard Adam, Jin Yamamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of peripheral nerves may provide additional information about nerve involvement in muscular disorders, but is considered difficult due to different optimal scan parameters tailored to magnetic resonance (MR) signal properties of muscle and neural tissues. Purpose: To assess the feasibility of sciatic nerve DTI using two different approaches of region of interest (ROI)-localization in DTI scans with b-values 500 s/mm2, in participants with muscular disorders and in controls. Material and Methods: DTI of the thigh was conducted on a 3T system in ten patients (6 men, 4 women; mean age =54 ± 15 years) with neuromuscular disorders and ten controls. T1-weighted (T1W) images were co-registered to fractional anisotropy (FA) color-encoded images. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), FA, and fiber track length (FTL) were analyzed by two operators using a freehand ROI and a single-point ROI covering the sciatic nerve. Interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland–Altman analysis were used for evaluation of inter-operator and inter-technical agreement, respectively. Results: Three-dimensional visualization of sciatic nerve fiber was achievable using both techniques. The ICC of DTI metrics showed excellent inter-operator agreement both in patients and controls. Bland–Altman analysis revealed good agreement of both techniques. A maximum FTL was achieved using the single-point ROI technique, but with a lower inter-operator agreement (ICC = 0.99 vs. 0.83). The ADC and maximum FTL were significantly decreased in patients compared to controls. Conclusion: Both ROI localization techniques are feasible to analyze the sciatic nerve in the setting of muscular disease. A maximum FTL is reached using the single-point ROI, however, at the cost of lower inter-operator agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • MR neurography
  • apparent diffusion coefficient
  • fractional anisotropy
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • muscular dystrophy
  • sciatic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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