Clinical implications of skeletal muscle blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) MRI

Sasan Partovi, Sasan Karimi, Bjoern Jacobi, Anja Carina Schulte, Markus Aschwanden, Lisa Zipp, John K. Lyo, Christof Karmonik, Matthias Müller-Eschner, Rolf W. Huegli, Georg Bongartz, Deniz Bilecen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of skeletal muscle mainly depends on changes of oxygen saturation in the microcirculation. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have evaluated the clinical relevance of skeletal muscle BOLD MR imaging in vascular diseases, such as peripheral arterial occlusive disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic compartment syndrome. BOLD imaging combines the advantages of MR imaging, i.e., high spatial resolution, no exposure to ionizing radiation, with functional information of local microvascular perfusion. Due to intrinsic contrast provoked via changes in hemoglobin oxygen saturation, it is a safe and easy applicable procedure on standard whole-body MR devices. Therefore, BOLD MR imaging of skeletal muscle is a potential new diagnostic tool in the clinical evaluation of vascular, inflammatory, and muscular pathologies. Our review focuses on the current evidence concerning the use of BOLD MR imaging of skeletal muscle under pathological conditions and highlights ways for future clinical and scientific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent MRI
  • BOLD effect
  • Paradigms
  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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