Microneurography of human median nerve

Mehmet Bilgen, Archie Heddings, Baraa Al-Hafez, Wohaib Hasan, Terence McIff, Bruce Toby, Randolph Nudo, William M. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the possibility of performing high-resolution MRI (microneurography) on peripheral nerves. Materials and Methods: A specific radio frequency (RF) coil was developed to probe the human median nerve at a magnetic field strength of 9.4 T and tested on three excised samples by acquiring microneurograms. Results: The microneurograms revealed neuronal tissue constituents at subfascicular level. The contrast features on proton-density and T1- and T2-weighted images were described and compared. The microscopic water movement was quantified using diffusion weighting parallel and orthogonal to the neuronal fiber orientation. The characteristics of anisotropic diffusion in the median nerve were comparable to those reported from other biological tissues (white matter and kidney). Conclusion: The results overall suggest that microneurography might provide new noninvasive insights into microscopic gross anatomy of the peripheral nerve, injury evaluation, and efficacy of repair, although the feasibility at current clinically relevant field strengths is yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-830
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Median nerve
  • Neurography
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Radio frequency coil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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