MR Neurography of the Sciatic Nerve

Principal Investigator: Faisal Beg
M.A.Sc. Student: Eli  Gibson

This project focuses on the study of the sciatic nerve through MR neurography. It has focussed on the development of MR protocols for imaging uninjured peripheral nerves, and the construction of computational measurement techniques for several key characteristic features of nerves. Work has also been done to create visualization tools based on rapid prototyping technologies.

MR Neurography in the Peripheral Nervous System

While it has received less attention than the central nervous system, peripheral nerve research is important to the diagnosis and treatment of many injuries, as well as to our understanding of the human body. MR Neurography has played a significant role in diagnosis of nerve lesions and other injuries. T1-weighted scans can differentiate between nerve tissue and fat, and between muscle tissue and fat. T2-weighted scans can differentiate between uninjured nerves and acutely injured nerves (characterized by an influx of fluid into the nerve). Recent work from the MIAL has yielded scans that can differentiate between muscle tissue and uninjured nerves as well. MR Neurography in the MIAL focuses on the sciatic nerve. The thickest peripheral nerve in the body, the sciatic runs from the brachial plexus down through the thigh. The sciatic nerve consists of several smaller nerves in a common epineural sheath, including the thigh nerves that separate in the upper thigh, and the tibial and common peroneal nerve that bifurcate in the lower thigh. The MIAL contributes to both the development of MRI protocols for neurography as well as the computational analysis of the MR data. Shown at right is a 3D reconstruction of the thigh derived from protocols developed in part at the MIAL. This work has been done in collaboration with Dr. Andy Hoffer, and the UBC MRI Research Centre.

3D reconstruction of thigh bone, vessels and nerve

Transverse magnetic decay constants of a thigh crosssection

Creation process for physical 3D model based on MR data using rapid prototyping

Dr. Faisal Beg's website (http://www.ensc.sfu.ca/~mfbeg)
Dr. Andy Hoffer's website (http://fas.sfu.ca/kin/Faculty/Hoffer.html)
UBC MRI Research Centre (http://www.mriresearch.ubc.ca)

Site by Faculty of Applied Science web team, Simon Fraser University