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Assessment of Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Glycosaminoglycan Content by Gadolinium-Enhanced MRI before and after 21-Days of Head-Down-Tilt Bedrest

Koy, Timmo and Zange, Jochen and Rittweger, Jörn and Pohle-Fröhlich, Regina and Hackenbroch, Matthias and Eysel, Peer and Ganse, Bergita (2014) Assessment of Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Glycosaminoglycan Content by Gadolinium-Enhanced MRI before and after 21-Days of Head-Down-Tilt Bedrest. PLoS One, 9 (11), e112104-e112104. Public Library of Science (PLoS). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112104. ISSN 1932-6203.

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During spaceflight, it has been shown that intervertebral discs (IVDs) increase in height, causing elongation of the spine up to several centimeters. Astronauts frequently report dull lower back pain that is most likely of discogenic origin and may result from IVD expansion. It is unknown whether disc volume solely increases by water influx, or if the content of glycosaminoglycans also changes in microgravity. Aim of this pilot study was to investigate effects of the spaceflight analog of bedrest on the glycosaminoglycan content of human lumbar IVDs. Five healthy, non-smoking, male human subjects of European descent were immobilized in 6° head-down-tilt bedrest for 21 days. Subjects remained in bed 24 h a day with at least one shoulder on the mattress. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans were taken according to the delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (dGEMRIC) protocol before and after bedrest. The outcome measures were T1 and DT1. Scans were performed before and after administration of the contrast agent Gd-DOTA, and differences between T1-values of both scans (DT1) were computed. DT1 is the longitudinal relaxation time in the tissue and inversely related to the glycosaminoglycan-content. For data analysis, IVDs L1/2 to L4/5 were semi-automatically segmented. Zones were defined and analyzed separately. Results show a highly significant decrease in DT1 (p<0.001) after bedrest in all IVDs, and in all areas of the IVDs. The DT1-decrease was most prominent in the nucleus pulposus and in L4/5, and was expressed slightly more in the posterior than anterior IVD. Unexpected negative DT1-values were found in Pfirrmann-grade 2-discs after bedrest. Significantly lower T1 before contrast agent application was found after bedrest compared to before bedrest. According to the dGEMRIC-literature, the decrease in DT1 may be interpreted as an increase in glycosaminoglycans in healthy IVDs during bedrest. This interpretation seems contradictory to previous findings in IVD unloading.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/91764/
Document Type:Article
Title:Assessment of Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Glycosaminoglycan Content by Gadolinium-Enhanced MRI before and after 21-Days of Head-Down-Tilt Bedrest
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Koy, Timmotimmo.koy (at) uk-koeln.deUNSPECIFIED
Zange, JochenGerman Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Space Physiology, Cologne, Germany; and Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; jochen.zange (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rittweger, JörnInstitute of Aerospace Medicine, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR e.V., Cologne, Germany and Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; joern.rittweger (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Pohle-Fröhlich, ReginaHochschule Niederrhein, Institute for Pattern Recognition, KrefeldUNSPECIFIED
Hackenbroch, MatthiasUniversity of Cologne, Department of Radiology, CologneUNSPECIFIED
Eysel, PeerUniversity of Cologne, Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, CologneUNSPECIFIED
Ganse, BergitaDivision Space Physiology, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center, Cologne, bergita.ganse (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:November 2014
Journal or Publication Title:PLoS One
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0112104
Page Range:e112104-e112104
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iD
Goswami, NanduMedical University of Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Keywords:Intervertebral disc, ivd, glucosaminoglycan, gag, MRI, dGEMRIC, bedrest, space flight, back pain, spine, segmentation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Integrative Studien (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Space Physiology
Deposited By: Becker, Christine
Deposited On:18 Nov 2014 12:28
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:49

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