A variety of diagnostic imaging techniques have made the non-invasive evaluation of skeletal muscles and vessels in inflammatory diseases possible. The standard imaging methods for muscle evaluation are US, MRI and scintigraphy while for vessel imaging conventional angiography as well as CT angiography and PET-CT play an important role.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is especially sensitive in the diagnosis of muscle disorders and injury and has proved to be useful in determining the extent of inflammatory disease, in directing interventions, and in monitoring the response to therapies. Thus, the current imaging indications for muscles include: diagnosis, assessment of disease burden (localization) and biopsy site selection. Several experimental techniques are used nowadays for further muscle evaluation including spectroscopy (metabolic imaging), BOLD imaging (perfusion and oxygenation) and diffusion tensor imaging DTI (DTI; muscle function-structure relationship).
In vessel imaging, CT, MRI and conventional angiography help in the anatomic evaluation of disease including the evaluation of disease distribution, vessel stenosis, wall thickening (CT and MRI only) and end organ damage. MRI and FDG-PET-CT add valuable information regarding active inflammation including detection of wall edema, delayed wall enhancement and high glucose metabolic activity.
The basics of MR muscle and vessel imaging as well as the more advanced imaging techniques will be presented along with some case stories.
Disclosure of Interest None declared