The relative oxygen saturation of hemoglobin and the rate of perfusion are important physiological quantities, particularly in organs such as skeletal muscle, in which oxygen delivery and use are tightly coupled. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the image-based calculation of the relative oxygen saturation of hemoglobin and quantification of perfusion in skeletal muscle during isometric contractions. This was accomplished by establishing an empirical relationship between the rate of radiofrequency-reversible dephasing and near-infrared spectroscopy-observed oxyhemoglobin saturation (relative oxygen saturation of hemoglobin) under conditions of arterial occlusion and constant blood volume. A calibration curve was generated and used to calculate the relative oxygen saturation of hemoglobin from radiofrequency-reversible dephasing changes measured during contraction. Twelve young healthy subjects underwent 300 s of arterial occlusion and performed isometric contractions of the dorsiflexors at 30% of maximal contraction for 120 s. Muscle perfusion was quantified during contraction by arterial spin labeling and measures of muscle T(1). Comparisons between the relative oxygen saturation of hemoglobin values predicted from radiofrequency-reversible dephasing and that measured by near-infrared spectroscopy revealed no differences between methods (P = 0.760). Muscle perfusion reached a value of 34.7 mL 100 g(-1) min(-1) during contraction. These measurements hold future promise in measuring muscle oxygen consumption in healthy and diseased skeletal muscle.
2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.