Quantitative STIR MRI as prognostic imaging biomarker for nerve regeneration

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    A transection of a forearm nerve e.g., because of an accident, has tremendous impact on a patient's daily life, as a number of hand muscles is paralyzed and part of the hand will suffer from sensory loss.
    Despite advances in surgery many patients will have remaining loss of function. If nerve regeneration fails, a re-operation may be attempted, preferably within 6 months after initial trauma. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to monitor whether nerve fibers grow towards the target muscles, to be able to intervene if necessary. The current method used for monitoring is electromyography (EMG), which has several disadvantages.
    The aim of the research described in this thesis was to investigate whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the hand muscles can be used for monitoring of nerve regeneration. In patients with a complete transection of one of the forearm nerves, changes in signal intensity were examined over time. This can be seen/measured in the MRI scans. In patients with poor function recovery, signal intensities of muscle remained elevated for at least one year, while in patients with good function recovery the measured signal intensities returned to normal.
    In conclusion, MRI-scans can be used as a new, objective method for monitoring nerve regeneration and show differences between denervated and re-innervated muscles for at least one year.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Oudkerk, Matthijs, Supervisor
    • Sijens, Paul, Co-supervisor
    Award date14-Nov-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-804995-0-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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