MR Ergometers – Excellence in MR diagnostics

Ergospect ergometers use the most advanced technology to simulate stress in an MRI bore, to mirror routine daily situations or training conditions.

Ergospect ergometers allow the medical practitioner to obtain information faster and with greater accuracy in order to pinpoint medical problems such as occlusive diseases, stenotic lesions or occlusions, metabolic and muscle wasting disorders, questions related to muscle and energy metabolism and musculoskeletal system indications.

Fields of applications are: angiography, cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, vascular surgery or pharmaceutical compatibility examinations

Static measurements are just a snapshot and do not reveal the entire physiological range of an organism. In many diseases, symptoms will only be apparent on the application of a load or during movement. Our Diagnostic Pedals are MR conditional devices which are designed to produce physical stress to the human body inside the MR bore.
Physiological changes assessed with the MR technique:
  • energy metabolism, in-vivo metabolic studies: 31P MRS, 13C MRS, determination of mitochondrial function, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, and glycogen metabolism
  • lipid metabolism and deoxymyoglobin: 1H-MRS, tracking of intra- and extra-myocellular lipids and myoglobin
  • blood oxygen level dependency = BOLD, monitoring of the oxygen supply within the tissue
  • Perfusion MRI, microcirculation within the exercising muscle or the myocardium phase-contrast MRI, assessment of blood flow in the feeding vessel or changes in the tissue elasticity (cartilage, disks)
  • CINE MRI, cardiac function, real time imaging of pressure-sensitive tissue like cartilage, ligamenta and disks
  • Diffusion tensor imaging, fiber tracking in muscle tissue
  • Relaxametry, determination of edema or water content in different tissues under stress (cartilage, ligamenta, muscle)
Diagnostic Pedal features:
  • Fast and easy handling of the ergometer in daily clinical routines
  • Cutting-edge technology for signal transmission without disrupting MR measurements
  • Automatic recordings of all relevant parameters (e.g. force, distance, frequency and energy output).
  • Fully automatic force adaptation powered by a pneumatic system and regulation of the energy output by user-friendly control software.

Ergospect Diagnostic Padal Video

Application Areas

Muscle physiology

Dynamic MR measurements with Ergospect technology open up new avenues for investigating muscle physiology and energy metabolism in the musculature. This is suitable for a number of applications including sports medicine: training control in high-performance and recreational athletes, degenerative diseases as well as cancer patients: assessment of muscle function and metabolic status, lifestyle: testing aerobic capacities and muscular strength.

Cardiac Applications

Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is the standard tool for the visualization of pathological processes within the myocardium like myocardial infarction, myocarditis and cardiomyopathies. Numerous studies have shown that CMR is the most reliable method to determine infarct size and tissue perfusion as well as contractility in one session having crucial impact on prognosis. Furthermore, CMR is applied for examining myocardial viability after infarction and for staging cardiomyopathies.

Angiology and vascular medicine

The symptoms of many diseases are only evident and can only be assessed during exercise. Static measurements are just a snapshot and do not reveal the entire physiological range of an organism. Relevant diseases and clinical pictures therefore require dynamic evaluation during load or movement in order to reveal symptoms. Ergospect offers a wide variety of possible applications and custom-made developments.

Orthopaedic Applications

Patients with degenerative disorders in the musculo-skeletal system commonly suffer from pain during walking, working or other activities, which are caused by a load on the joints. In the supine position the joints and the spine are uncompressed so that the causative pathology can be underdiagnosed. Therefore, an investigation of joints and spine under stress is preferable to identify the causative alteration, e.g. a disk herniation pressing on a nerve or a meniscus luxating in an upright position.

Sports Applications

Until now the metabolism of stressed muscles could only be assessed by biopsies. This procedure can be expensive, time-consuming and is potentially painful for the patient. Using the musculoskeletal modules of the Diagnostic Pedal, the muscle metabolism of patients, amateur sportsmen, athletes and astronauts can be assessed in an easy, effective and non-invasive manner without the application of contrast media. By adopting this approach, endurance and strength athletes can be discriminated and the intramuscular recruitment pattern for the evaluation of the risk of muscle injuries in athletes and amateur sportsmen, e.g. soccer players can be determined. Another field of interest is the assessment of the training progress of athletes and amateur sportsmen and of exercise responses to gravity-independent training in

Ergometer Modules

Cardio Step Module
Investigating the cardiovascular system
during exercise

Trispect Module
Investigating the calf muscle during exercise

Tibiospect Module
Investigating the Musculus tibialis anterior
during exercise

Quadspect Module
Investigating the Quadriceps muscle during
exercise

Ischiospect Module
Investigating the hamstring muscles
during exercise

Orthospect Module
Simulating an upright position for high-quality MR
and CT images of the musculo-skeletal system