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Spinal Cord. 2007 Apr;45(4):304-9. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Skeletal muscle atrophy and increased intramuscular fat after incomplete spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-0744, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional and longitudinal design.

OBJECTIVES:

(1) To quantify skeletal muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) after correcting for intramuscular fat (IMF) in thigh muscle groups 6 weeks after incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), (2) to monitor the changes in muscle CSA and IMF after 3 months from the initial measurement.

SETTING:

Academic institution Athens, GA, USA.

METHODS:

Six incomplete SCI patients (28+/-4 years, 178+/-5 cm and 78+/-6 kg, mean+/-SE, C7 to L3, American Spinal Injury Association B or C) were tested at 5+/-1 weeks and 3 months after the initial measurement. T1-weighted magnetic resonance images were taken of both thighs. Six able-bodied (AB) controls were matched in age, sex, height and weight (29+/-4 years, four male and two female subjects, 179+/-5 cm and 77+/-6 kg).

RESULTS:

At 6 weeks post-injury, muscle CSA was 82+/-4 cm(2) in incomplete SCI and 123+/-21 cm(2) in AB controls (P=0.04). IMF CSA was 5.2+/-1.3 and 2.3+/-0.6 cm(2) in incomplete SCI and AB controls, respectively (P=0.03). Relative IMF was three-fold higher (P=0.03) in the SCI group versus AB controls (5.8+/-1.4 versus 2.0+/-0.6%). After 3 months, IMF increased 26% in the SCI group compared to the initial measurement (P=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Skeletal muscle atrophy is associated with greater IMF accumulation in SCI group 6 weeks post-injury compared to AB controls. Moreover, IMF continues to increase over time in incomplete SCI.

PMID:
16940987
DOI:
10.1038/sj.sc.3101968
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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