Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI of human skeletal muscle at 1.5 and 3 T

Sasan Partovi, Anja Carina Schulte, Bjoern Jacobi, Markus Klarhöfer, Alan B. Lumsden, Matthias Loebe, Mark G. Davies, Georg P. Noon, Christof Karmonik, Lisa Zipp, Georg Bongartz, Deniz Bilecen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the dependence of skeletal muscle blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) effect and time course characteristics on magnetic field strength in healthy volunteers using an ischemia/reactive hyperemia paradigm. Materials and Methods: Two consecutive skeletal muscle BOLD magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements in eight healthy volunteers were performed on 1.5 T and 3.0 T whole-body MRI scanners. For both measurements a fat-saturated multi-shot multiecho gradient-echo EPI sequence was applied. Temporary vascular occlusion was induced by suprasystolic cuff compression of the thigh. T2*time courses were obtained from two different calf muscles and characterized by typical curve parameters. Ischemia- and hyperemia-induced changes in R2*(ΔR2*) were calculated for both muscles in each volunteer at the two field strengths. Results: Skeletal muscle BOLD changes are dependent on magnetic field strength as the ratio ΔR2*(3.0 T)/ ΔR2*(1.5 T) was found to range between 1.6 and 2.2. Regarding time course characteristics, significantly higher relative T2*changes were found in both muscles at 3.0 T. Conclusion: The present study shows an approximately linear field strength dependence of ΔR2*in the skeletal muscle in response to ischemia and reactive hyperemia. Using higher magnetic fields is advisable for future BOLD imaging studies of peripheral limb pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1232
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD)
  • BOLD effect
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Ischemia/reactive hyperemia paradigm
  • Magnetic field strength
  • MRI
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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