Sustained mechanical loading of soft tissues covering bony prominences may lead to degeneration of skeletal muscle tissue. This can result in a condition termed deep tissue injury (DTI), a severe kind of pressure ulcer that initiates in deep tissue layers, and progresses towards the skin. Previously, we have provided evidence that in a controlled animal model, deformation is the main trigger for damage within a 2 h loading period [1,2]. Recently, we also showed that ischemia and reperfusion may contribute to the damage process during prolonged loading [3]. In the present study, we investigated the relative effects of deformation, ischemia, and reperfusion on the temporal and spatial damage process of skeletal muscle tissue during a 6 h period using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques.

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