Exploring Advanced Imaging Techniques to Characterize Botulinum Toxin Diffusion in Human Muscle


Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

Since the use of botulinum toxin in treating spasticity has already been proven effective, we are now using magnetic resonance imaging to examine the toxin diffusion within muscle (post injection) in order to determine the specific toxin dose required for an optimal treatment response.

Detailed Description

Over the past decade, botulinum toxins (BT) have been extensively used to treat any number of diverse disorders, including functionally significant, focal spasticity in the arm and leg of persons with injury/disease of the central nervous system. Spasticity is an involuntary muscle stiffness that limits movement of an extremity and often leads to pain, hygiene problems, difficulty in bed or wheelchair positioning, and functional deficits in self-care and mobility.
There are three BT products on the market: MyoBloc®, Botox®, and Dysport®. FDA approval for use of Botox® in spasticity is anticipated sometime during 2010. In the Weill Cornell Division of Rehabilitation Medicine alone, nearly 50,000 units of Botox® were injected for the treatment of spasticity during the 2008-2009 academic year. (Note: The vast majority of the BT market share in the US rests with Botox®.)
There is excellent evidence supporting the effectiveness of BT in decreasing tone and modest clinical evidence supporting functional improvement. Despite the frequent use, however, there is astonishingly little evidence delineating the impact on diffusion of dosing, dilution, approach to muscle localization, or serotype of BT. To better study these relationships we will be using advanced imaging to develop a model to characterize the physical characteristics of BT diffusion in human skeletal muscle.



  • Botox (botulinum toxin) Drug
    Intervention Desc: A series of three injections will be made simultaneously to the gastroc-soleus muscles of the affected lower limb; this will be the only drug intervention/injection session throughout the study, and occurs at baseline. The top injection site, closest to the knee, consists of 25 units of Botox and 0.25 cc saline. The bottom injection site, closest to the ankle, also consists of 25 units of Botox and 0.25 cc saline. The middle injection site will be considered the placebo injection, as it will not contain any Botox (0 units Botox) and 0.25 cc saline.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: botox diffusion
    Description: Each subject was given 3 injections in lateral gastrocnemius muscle:2 botox, 1 saline, each injection was 2.5mL. MRI of the lower leg was taken prior to injections and 2 months post for a comparison of diffusion properties.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Non-Randomized
  • Masking: Open Label
  • Purpose: Health Services Research
  • Endpoint: Bio-equivalence Study
  • Intervention: Single Group Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary MRI (determining if advanced imaging (MRI) is the optimal method to visually characterize the diffusion of Botox ® in human skeletal muscle) Baseline up to 3 months No
Primary MRI Baseline (0 months), 2 months and 3 months No