The use of magnetic resonance imaging and proton spectroscopy to identify critical tissues in dogs with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for future assessment of therapeutic intervention : a pilot study
Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy is a debilitating disease that affects skeletal and cardiac muscle of 1 in 5000 male births. In the last thirty years, the gene responsible for the encoding of Dystrophin has been identified, sequenced and the variations of mutations described. There remains a void in the successful treatment of the disease although corticosteroid use has proven useful in delaying progression. Novel therapies are produced in the categories of virus-mediated gene delivery and stem cells, but evaluating their efficacy is hindered by an inability to contemporaneously assess the changes in muscle. The purpose of this pilot study was to characterize the changes in skeletal and cardiac muscle in a clinically advanced population of dogs affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Using traditional sequences, delayed gadolinium enhancement, novel sequences and spectroscopy, changes in the investigated muscle were characterized. By establishing the differences between affected and unaffected dogs, the long-term goal of this body of work is to characterize these changes longitudinally and design a non-invasive method for tissue assessment as novel treatments are trialed.
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