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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2019; 1(19): 21-29, PMID: 30839300

Application of current sarcopenia definitions in spinal
cord injury

Year: 2019

Yannis Dionyssiotis, Grigorios Skarantavos, Konstantina Petropoulou, Antonios Galanos,Christina-Anastassia Rapidi, George P. Lyritis
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, University Hospital of Ioannina,


Objective: Little is known about how appropriate the working definitions of sarcopenia are in subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI). This study aimed to evaluate the application of current sarcopenia definitions in SCI. Methods: We compared 31 complete SCI men with 33 able-bodied age matched subjects. All were examined by whole body DXA (Norland XR 36,
USA) regarding muscle and fat mass and by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT XCT-3000, Germany) in 66% of tibia’s length (muscle cross sectional area, (CSA) in mm2). Low muscle mass was defined by skeletal muscle index, (SMI= appendicular lean mass (aLM)/height2 in Kg/m2) and by the residual method: relative aLM, 20th percentile
of the distribution of residuals as the cutoff point, (RASM), respectively. CSA is a surrogate for force. Results: We found lower values on RASM (p<0.001), and SMI (p<0.001) compared to controls in SCI and difference in the rate of sarcopenia according to sarcopenia definitions. CSA was significantly decreased in SCI (p<0.001) and correlation with duration of paralysis was weak. Conclusion: Current functional definitions of sarcopenia classify different individuals as sarcopenic. Sarcopenia was more prevalent in SCI. The sensitivity and specificity of using these measurements in SCI remain unclear.

Keywords: Sarcopenia, Spinal Cord Injury, Cross Sectional Muscle Area, pQCT, Whole Body DXA
GID: 4865; Last update: 28.02.2019