Body Magnetic Resonance Research Group

Quantitative skeletal muscle MRI

Research summary

Skeletal muscle degeneration affects joint biomechanics in orthopedics (e.g. in the shoulder of patients with rotator cuff tendon rupture, in the knee of patients with osteoarthritis, in the spine of patients with back pain) and is associated with disease progression in patients with neuromuscular diseases. Convetional anatomical MRI allows the qualitative assessment of muscle fatty infiltration and edemateous changes and the the determination of muscle cross-sectional area. However, such qualitative and morhological metrics cannot fully explain alternations in skeletal muscle function. Quantitative MRI enables the longitudinal assessment of microstructural, fatty infilitration and edemateous skeletal muscle changes and is a promising non-invasive tool in orthopedic surgery decision making, in rehabilitation planning and in the monitoring of therapy in clinical trials of neuromuscular diseases.

Our skeletal muscle MRI research focuses on the following directions:

  • Development of skeletal muscle DTI acquisition and signal modeling techniques.
  • Addressing confounding effects in the measurement of the skeletal muscle proton density fat fraction (PDFF) using chemical shift encoding-based water–fat separation.
  • Development of skeletal muscle T2 mapping techniques with robustness to B1 and B0 inhomogeneities.
  • Application of quantitative fat measurements techniques in clinical patients with orthopedic injuries and investigation of the association of muscle PDFF with muscle biomechanical strength and muscle function.
  • Application of the developed quantitative MRI techniques in clinical studies of patients with a wide range of neuromuscular diseases.

Affiliated members

Elisabeth Klupp


PD Dr. Kirschke, PD Dr. Baum, PD Dr. Jungmann, Prof. M. Deschauer (Neurology), Prof. B. Schosser (Neurology, LMU), Prof. Schwirtz (Sport Sciences)

Key publications

  • D. C. Karampinos, C. Holwein, S. Buchmann, T. Baum, S. Ruschke, A. S. Gersing, R Sutter, A. B. Imhoff, E. J. Rummeny, P. M. Jungmann, Proton density fat fraction of rotator cuff muscles is associated with shoulder osteoarthritis and isometric strength 10 years after rotator cuff repair: A quantitative MR imaging study of the shoulder, American Journal of Sports Medicine, in press

  • Klupp, E., Weidlich, D., Schlaeger, S., Baum, T., Cervantes, B., Deschauer, M., Kooijman, H., Rummeny, E.J., Zimmer, C., Kirschke, J.S., Karampinos, D.C., B1-insensitive T2 Mapping of Healthy Thigh Muscles Using a T2-prepared 3d TSE Sequence. PLOS ONE 12, e0171337.

  • Baum, T., Inhuber, S., Dieckmeyer, M., Cordes, C., Ruschke, S., Klupp, E., Jungmann, P.M., Farlock, R., Eggers, H., Kooijman, H., Rummeny, E.J., Schwirtz, A., Kirschke, J.S., Karampinos, D.C., Association of Quadriceps Muscle Fat With Isometric Strength Measurements in Healthy Males Using Chemical Shift Encoding-Based Water-Fat Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 40, 447–451.

  • Nardo, L., Karampinos, D.C., Lansdown, D.A., Carballido-Gamio, J., Lee, S., Maroldi, R., Ma, C.B., Link, T.M., Krug, R., Quantitative Assessment of Fat Infiltration in the Rotator Cuff Muscles Using Water-Fat MRI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 39, 1178–1185.

  • Kumar, D., Karampinos, D.C., MacLeod, T.D., Lin, W., Nardo, L., Li, X., Link, T.M., Majumdar, S., Souza, R.B., Quadriceps Intramuscular Fat Fraction Rather Than Muscle Size Is Associated With Knee Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 22, 226–234.

  • Karampinos, D.C., Banerjee, S., King, K.F., Link, T.M., Majumdar, S., Considerations in High-Resolution Skeletal Muscle Diffusion Tensor Imaging Using Single-Shot Echo Planar Imaging With Stimulated-Echo Preparation and Sensitivity Encoding. NMR in Biomedicine 25, 766–778.

  • Hernando, D., Karampinos, D.C., King, K.F., Haldar, J.P., Majumdar, S., Georgiadis, J.G., Liang, Z.-P., Removal of Olefinic Fat Chemical Shift Artifact in Diffusion MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 65, 692–701.

  • Karampinos, D.C., King, K.F., Sutton, B.P., Georgiadis, J.G., Intravoxel Partially Coherent Motion Technique: Characterization of the Anisotropy of Skeletal Muscle Microvasculature. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 31, 942–953.

  • Valentinitsch, A., Karampinos, D.C., Alizai, H., Subburaj, K., Kumar, D., Link, T.M., Majumdar, S., Automated Unsupervised Multi-Parametric Classification of Adipose Tissue Depots in Skeletal Muscle. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 37, 917–927.