Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

Doris G. Leung, John A. Carrino, Kathryn R. Wagner, Michael A. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Introduction: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a hereditary disorder that causes progressive muscle wasting. Increasing knowledge of the pathophysiology of FSHD has stimulated interest in developing biomarkers of disease severity. Methods: Two groups of MRI scans were analyzed: whole-body scans from 13 subjects with FSHD; and upper and lower extremity scans from 34 subjects with FSHD who participated in the MYO-029 clinical trial. Muscles were scored for fat infiltration and edema-like changes. Fat infiltration scores were compared with muscle strength and function. Results: The analysis revealed a distinctive pattern of both frequent muscle involvement and frequent sparing in FSHD. Averaged fat infiltration scores for muscle groups in the legs correlated with quantitative muscle strength and 10-meter walk times. Conclusions: Advances in MRI technology allow for acquisition of rapid, high-quality, whole-body imaging in diffuse muscle disease. This technique offers a promising disease biomarker in FSHD and other muscle diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • FSHD
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
  • MRI
  • Radiographic biomarkers
  • Whole-body imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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