Age- and level-dependence of fatty infiltration in lumbar paravertebral muscles of healthy volunteers

Crawford, R. J., Filli, L., Elliott, J. M., Nanz, D., Fischer, M. A., Marcon, M. and Ulbrich, E. J. (2016) Age- and level-dependence of fatty infiltration in lumbar paravertebral muscles of healthy volunteers. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 37 4: 742-748. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A4596

Author Crawford, R. J.
Filli, L.
Elliott, J. M.
Nanz, D.
Fischer, M. A.
Marcon, M.
Ulbrich, E. J.
Title Age- and level-dependence of fatty infiltration in lumbar paravertebral muscles of healthy volunteers
Journal name American Journal of Neuroradiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0195-6108
Publication date 2016-04
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3174/ajnr.A4596
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 37
Issue 4
Start page 742
End page 748
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oak Brook, IL United States
Publisher American Society of Neuroradiology
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Normative age-related decline in paravertebral muscle quality is important for reference to disease and risk identification in patients. We aimed to establish age- and vertebral level–dependence of paravertebral (multifidus and erector spinae) muscle volume and fat content in healthy adult volunteers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this prospective study multifidus and erector spinae fat signal fraction and volume at lumbar levels L1–L5 were measured in 80 healthy volunteers (10 women and men per decade, 20–62 years of age) by 2-point Dixon 3T MR imaging. ANOVA with post hoc Bonferroni correction compared fat signal fraction and volume among subgroups. Pearson and Spearman analysis were used for correlations (P < .05).

RESULTS: Fat signal fraction was higher in women (17.8% ± 10.7%) than men (14.7% ± 7.8%; P < .001) and increased with age. Multifidus and erector spinae volume was lower in women (565.4 ± 83.8 cm3) than in men (811.6 ± 98.9 cm3; P < .001) and was age-independent. No differences in fat signal fraction were shown between the right and left paravertebral muscles or among the L1, L2, and L3 lumbar levels. The fat signal fraction was highest at L5 (women, 31.9% ± 9.3%; men, 25.7% ± 8.0%; P < .001). The fat signal fraction at L4 correlated best with total lumbar fat signal fraction (women, r = 0.95; men, r = 0.92, P < .001). Total fat signal fraction was higher in the multifidus compared with erector spinae muscles at L1–L4 for both sexes (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Lumbar paravertebral muscle fat content increases with aging, independent of volume, in healthy volunteers 20–62 years of age. Women, low lumbar levels, and the multifidus muscle are most affected. Further study examining younger and older subjects and the functional impact of fatty infiltrated paravertebral muscles are warranted.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 24 Apr 2016, 00:30:49 EST by System User on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences