Magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and real-time ultrasound elastography of the thigh muscles in congenital muscle dystrophy
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Congenital muscle dystrophy includes a range of genetic disorders characterized by muscle weakness and contractures. We report the magnetic resonance (MR), ultrasound (US) and real-time sonoelastography (RTE) imaging findings of the thigh muscles of a 15-year-old boy with Bethlem myopathy diagnosed with clinical, electromyographic and histopathological criteria. Ultrasound and MR showed hyperechoic appearance and high signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted sequences respectively at the periphery of the vastus lateralis and the long head of the biceps femoris muscles, and at a central area within the rectus femoris muscles. RTE was employed to examine the elastic properties of the muscle. The elastograms were presented as colour-coded maps superimposed on the B-mode images and revealed that the elastographic pattern correlated with the MR and US pattern of involvement. The abnormal muscle areas were stiffer (blue) than the normal-appearing areas (green), a finding that probably correlates with the presence of dystrophic collagen at the affected areas. This report suggests that RTE could be used as an additional imaging tool to evaluate the pattern of muscle changes in congenital myopathy. Further studies are needed to investigate the specificity and clinical value of RTE in the diagnosis and monitoring of neuromuscular disease.
KeywordsBethlem myopathy Ultrasound MRI Real-time elastography