Permanent muscular sodium overload and persistent muscle edema in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a possible contributor of progressive muscle degeneration.
To assess the presence and persistence of muscular edema and increased myoplasmic sodium (Na(+)) concentration in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We examined eight DMD patients (mean age 9.5 ± 5.4 years) and eight volunteers (mean age 9.5 ± 3.2 years) with 3-tesla proton ((1)H) and (23)Na density-adapted 3D-radial MR sequences. Seven DMD patients were re-examined about 7 months later without change of therapy. The eighth DMD patient was re-examined after 5 and 11 months under medication with eplerenone. We quantified muscle edema on STIR images with background noise as reference and fatty degeneration on T1-weighted images using subcutaneous fat as reference. Na(+) was quantified by a muscular tissue Na(+) concentration (TSC) sequence employing a reference containing 51.3 mM Na(+) with 5 % agarose. With an inversion-recovery (IR) sequence, we determined mainly the myoplasmic Na(+). The normalized muscular (23)Na IR signal intensity was higher in DMD than in volunteers (n = 8, 0.75 ± 0.07 vs. 0.50 ± 0.05, p < 0.001) and persisted at second measurement (n = 7, 1st 0.75 ± 0.07, 2nd 0.73 ± 0.06, p = 0.50). When compared to volunteers (25.6 ± 2.0 mmol/l), TSC was markedly increased in DMD (38.0 ± 5.9 mmol/l, p < 0.001) and remained constant (n = 7, 1st 37.9 ± 6.4 mmol/l, 2nd 37.0 ± 4.0 mmol/l, p = 0.49). Muscular edema (15.6 ± 3.5 vs. 6.9 ± 0.7, p < 0.001) and fat content (0.48 ± 0.08 vs. 0.38 ± 0.01, p = 0.003) were elevated in DMD when compared to volunteers. This could also be confirmed during follow-up (n = 7, p = 0.91, p = 0.12). Eplerenone slightly improved muscle strength and reduced muscular sodium and edema. The permanent muscular Na(+) overload in all DMD patients is likely osmotically relevant and responsible for the persisting, mainly intracellular muscle edema that may contribute to the progressive muscle degeneration.
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. email@example.com
SourceJournal of neurology 259:11 2012 Nov pg 2385-92
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't