Signal intensity changes in T2-weighted MR image of the human trapezius muscle upon cold pressor stimulation

M. Inoue-Minakuchi, Takuo Kuboki, Kenji Maekawa, Yoshinobu Yanagi, E. Inoue, T. Wakasa, K. Kishi, H. Yatani, G. T. Clark

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Objective: The ability to measure hemodynamics of skeletal muscle proper is one of the major goals for muscle pain researchers. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ability of signal intensity (SI) in T2-weighted trapezius muscle magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect intramuscular hemodynamic changes during cold pressor stimulation (CPS). Materials and methods: Fifteen healthy volunteers (mean age, 25.9 ± 2.1 years) participated in this study. T2-weighted MRI was acquired using a 1.5 tesla MR unit with a body array coil. The slice level was set perpendicular to the muscle long axis at the mid-point of the horizontal portion of the right trapezius muscle. Cold pressor stimulation (4°C) was applied to each subject's right foot and ankle for 2 min. The SI changes were recorded continuously for 7 min before, 2 min during, and 6 min after withdrawal of cold pressor stimulation. Six of these subjects also underwent a mock-CPS trial. Results: The mean SI level in T2-weighted trapezius muscle MRI significantly increased during CPS (P <0.0001, one way repeated measure ANOVA) and returned to the baseline level after cold pressor withdrawal. No statistically significant signal changes were observed across the mock-CPS trial subjects. These findings are identical to the cold pressor-induced hemodynamic changes documented in the trapezius muscle by near-infrared spectroscopy evaluation. Conclusions: SI measurement in T2-weighted trapezius muscle MRI is sufficiently sensitive to detect intramuscular hemodynamic changes during CPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002



  • Intramuscular hemodynamics
  • Signal intensity
  • T2-weighted MRI
  • Trapezius muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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