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Role of radiologic imaging in genetic and acquired neuromuscular disorders

Paolo Ortolan, Riccardo Zanato, Alessandro Coran, Valeria Beltrame, Roberto Stramare
  • Riccardo Zanato
    Radiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Alessandro Coran
    Radiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Valeria Beltrame
    Radiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
  • Roberto Stramare
    Radiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy

Abstract

Great technologic and clinical progress have been made in the last two decades in identifying genetic defects of several neuromuscular diseases, as Spinal Muscular Atrophy, genetic muscular dystrophies and other genetic myopathies. The diagnosis is usually challenging, due to great variability in genetic abnormalities and clinical phenotypes and the poor specificity of complementary analyses, i.e., serum creatine kinase (CK) and electrophysiology. Muscle biopsy represents the gold standard for the diagnosis of genetic neuromuscular diseases, but clinical imaging of muscle tissue is an important diagnostic tool to identify and quantifyies muscle damage. Radiologic imaging is, indeed, increasingly used as a diagnostic tool to describe patterns and the extent of muscle involvement, thanks to modern techniques that enable to definethe definition of degrees of muscle atrophy and changes in connective tissue. They usually grade the severity of the disease process with greater accuracy than clinical scores. Clinical imaging is more than complementary to perform muscle biopsy, especially as ultrasound scans are often mandatory to identify the muscle to be biopsied. We will here detail and provideWe will herein provide detailed examples of the radiologic methods that can be used in genetic and acquired neuromuscular disorders, stressing pros and cons.

Keywords

Muscle Imaging, MRI, CT, genetic muscle disorders, myopathies, dystrophies

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Submitted: 2015-01-20 19:18:42
Published: 2015-03-11 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2015 Paolo Ortolan, Riccardo Zanato, Alessandro Coran, Valeria Beltrame, Roberto Stramare

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