Neuromuscular Imaging Research

About Our Neuromuscular Imaging Research

MR neurography imageAt Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), we leverage the latest developments in imaging techniques to advance research in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders, including a wide range of diseases that affect muscles and nerves. Our researchers use specialized imaging protocols and state-of-the-art technology to visualize even small peripheral nerves.

Leading-Edge Imaging Techniques Used in Our Research

Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging

Recent developments in MR technology allow for high-resolution imaging of peripheral nerves, known as MR neurography. Dr. Deshmukh has created specialized MR neurography protocols with novel 3D techniques to obtain high-quality, superior-resolution imaging of peripheral nerves. MR neurography is an advanced imaging technique that we perform on the latest generation, state-of-the-art MR scanners. Common areas of imaging include the brachial plexus, peripheral nerves in the arms and legs, pelvic nerves, and lumbosacral plexus.

Ultrasound Imaging

Recent developments in ultrasound technology allow for high-resolution imaging of peripheral nerves. Using state-of-the-art equipment, we can visualize peripheral nerves throughout the body. Advanced ultrasound imaging techniques, such as elastography and microflow imaging, aid in the research of neuromuscular disorders. We also use ultra-high-resolution nerve imaging (>48 MHz, Vevo imaging system) for the targeted evaluation of select, superficial peripheral nerves.

Muscle Imaging

There are a variety of imaging modalities that can assess muscle health, including MR, CT, ultrasound, and whole-body, dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We bring the most current imaging techniques to our research.

We have a series of MR protocols dedicated to the assessment of muscle and can perform quantitative imaging analysis in many instances. For MRI, Dixon imaging allows for fat quantification, T2 mapping can assess for water content, and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) can assess muscle fiber changes. Moreover, we can assess mitochondrial function via our 31Phosphorus imaging protocol at rest and during calf exercise in the MRI scanner. Elastography can assess muscle elasticity and echointensity analysis can assess for fat and fibrous tissue infiltration in muscle.

Our specialized imaging techniques can quantify muscle health and provide numerical values to assess disease progression and potentially test therapies. We have conducted research projects in statin-induced myopathy, diabetic myopathy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and sarcopenia. We are currently involved in NIH-funded studies investigating muscle health in aging and myofascial pain.

Meet Our Researchers

Our Research Publications & Projects