A quantitative and dynamic analysis of skeletal muscle structure and function can guide training protocols and optimize interventions for rehabilitation and disease. While technologies exist to measure body composition, techniques are still needed for quantitative, long-term functional imaging of muscle at the bedside. We evaluate whether diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI) can be used for long-term assessment of resistance training (RT). DOSI measures of tissue composition were obtained from 12 adults before and after 5 weeks of training and compared to lean mass fraction (LMF) from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Significant correlations were detected between DXA LMF and DOSI-measured oxy-hemo/myoglobin, deoxy-hemo/myoglobin, total-hemo/myoglobin, water, and lipid. RT-induced increases of ∼6% in oxy-hemo/myoglobin (3.4±1.0 μM, p=0.00314) and total-hemo/myoglobin (4.9±1.1 μM, p=0.00024) from the medial gastrocnemius were detected with DOSI and accompanied by ∼2% increases in lean soft tissue mass (36.4±12.4 g, p=0.01641) and ∼60% increases in 1 rep-max strength (41.5±6.2 kg, p = 1.9E-05). DOSI measures of vascular and/or muscle changes combined with correlations between DOSI and DXA suggest that quantitative diffuse optical methods can be used to evaluate body composition, provide feedback on long-term interventions, and generate new insight into training-induced muscle adaptations.
The use of near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy (TRS-20, Hamamatsu Corporation) in two resistance type exercise applications in human subjects is described. First, using isometric flexion of the biceps, we compared the magnitude and relevance of tissue hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation (stO2) changes when assuming constant scattering versus continuous measurement of reduced scattering coefficients at three wavelengths. It was found that the assumption of constant scattering resulted in significant errors in hemoglobin concentration assessment during sustained isometric contractions. Secondly, we tested the effect of blood flow restriction (BFR) on oxygenation in a muscle (vastus medialis oblique, VMO) and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the brain. The BFR training technique resulted in considerably more fatigability in subjects, and correlated with reduced muscle stO2 between sets of exertion. Additionally, exercise with BFR resulted in greater PFC deoxygenation than a condition with equivalent work performance but no BFR. These experiments demonstrate novel applications for diffuse optical spectroscopy in strength testing and targeted muscle rehabilitation.