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Diabetes and Endocrinology - Physiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Reduced T2* Values in Soleus Muscle of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Published: Monday, November 26, 2012
Author: Chun S. Zuo et al.

by Chun S. Zuo, Young-Hoon Sung, Donald C. Simonson, Erin Habecker, Jian Wang, Charlotte Haws, Rosemond A. Villafuerte, Michael E. Henry, Robert L. Dobbins, Rebecca J. Hodge, Derek J. R. Nunez, Perry F. Renshaw

Tissue water transverse relaxation times (T2) are highly sensitive to fluid and lipid accumulations in skeletal muscles whereas the related T2* is sensitive to changes in tissue oxygenation in addition to factors affecting T2. Diabetes mellitus (DM) affects muscles of lower extremities progressively by impairing blood flow at the macrovascular and microvascular levels. This study is to investigate whether T2 and T2* are sensitive enough to detect abnormalities in skeletal muscles of diabetic patients in the resting state. T2 and T2* values in calf muscle of 18 patients with type 2 DM (T2DM), 22 young healthy controls (YHC), and 7 age-matched older healthy controls (OHC) were measured at 3T using multi-TE spin echo and gradient echo sequences. Regional lipid levels of the soleus muscle were also measured using the Dixon method in a subset of the subjects. Correlations between T2, T2*, lipid levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and presence of diabetes were evaluated. We found that T2 values were significantly higher in calf muscles of T2DM subjects, as were T2* values in anterior tibialis, and gastrocnemius muscles of T2DM participants. However, soleus T2* values of the T2DM subjects were significantly lower than those of the older, age-matched HC cohort (22.9±0.5 vs 26.7±0.4 ms, p<0.01). The soleus T2* values in the T2DM cohort were inversely correlated with the presence of diabetes (t?=?-3.46, p<0.001) and with an increase in HbA1c, but not with body mass index or regional lipid levels. Although multiple factors may contribute to changes in T2* values, the lowered T2* value observed in the T2DM soleus muscle is most consistent with a combination of high oxygen consumption and poor regional perfusion. This finding is consistent with results of previous perfusion studies and suggests that the soleus in individuals with T2DM is likely under tissue oxygenation stress.