3D synchrotron imaging of muscle tissues at different atrophic stages in stroke and spinal cord injury: a proof-of-concept study

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Synchrotron X-ray computed tomography (SXCT) allows 3D imaging of tissue with a very large field of view and an excellent micron resolution and enables the investigation of muscle fiber atrophy in 3D. The study aimed to explore the 3D micro-architecture of healthy skeletal muscle fibers and muscle fibers at different stages of atrophy (stroke sample = muscle atrophy; spinal cord injury (SCI) sample = severe muscle atrophy). Three muscle samples: a healthy control sample; a stroke sample (atrophic sample), and an SCI sample (severe atrophic sample) were imaged using SXCT, and muscle fiber populations were segmented and quantified for microarchitecture and morphology differences. The volume fraction of muscle fibers was 74.7%, 70.2%, and 35.3% in the healthy, stroke (atrophic), and SCI (severe atrophic) muscle fiber population samples respectively. In the SCI (severe atrophic sample), 3D image analysis revealed fiber splitting and fiber swelling. In the stroke sample (atrophic sample) muscle fiber buckling was observed but was only visible in the 3D analysis. 3D muscle fiber population analysis revealed new insights into the different stages of muscle fiber atrophy not to be observed nor quantified with a 2D histological analysis including fiber buckling, loss of fibers and fiber splitting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17289
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Humans, Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/pathology, Muscle, Skeletal/diagnostic imaging, Muscular Atrophy/diagnostic imaging, Spinal Cord/pathology, Spinal Cord Injuries/diagnostic imaging, Stroke/diagnostic imaging, Synchrotrons

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