Evaluating serratus anterior muscle function in neck pain using muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging

Sheard, Blair, Elliott, James, Cagnie, Barbara and O'Leary, Shaun (2012) Evaluating serratus anterior muscle function in neck pain using muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 35 8: 629-635. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.09.008

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Author Sheard, Blair
Elliott, James
Cagnie, Barbara
O'Leary, Shaun
Title Evaluating serratus anterior muscle function in neck pain using muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging
Journal name Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0161-4754
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.09.008
Volume 35
Issue 8
Start page 629
End page 635
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Mosby
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging (mfMRI) quantifies exercise-induced alterations in soft-aqueous skeletal muscle as a surrogate measure of muscle activity. Because of its excellent spatiotemporal resolution, mfMRI can be used as a noninvasive evaluation of the function of muscles that are challenging to evaluate, such as the serratus anterior (SA) muscle. The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate the feasibility of evaluating SA muscle function in individuals with neck pain compared with healthy controls using mfMRI. Methods: Muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of the SA muscle were obtained before and immediately after an isometric upper limb exercise in 10 subjects with chronic ipsilateral mechanical neck pain and scapular dysfunction (scan on symptomatic side) and in 10 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Scans were recorded at 4 intervertebral levels (T6-7, T7-8, T8-9, and T9-10). Differences in water relaxation values (T2 relaxation) quantified from scans before and after exercise were calculated (T2 shift) as a measure of SA muscle activity at each level and compared between groups. Results: There were significant effects for level (P =.03) and significant group × level interactions (P =.04) but no significant main effect for group (P =.59). Post hoc tests revealed that significant differences in T2 shift values between levels were only evident in the healthy control group. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that despite some inherent challenges associated with imaging the SA muscle, mfMRI appears to have adequate spatiotemporal resolution to effectively evaluate SA muscle activity and function in healthy and clinical populations.
Keyword Functional MRI
Neck pain
Long thoracic nerve
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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