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Pain Med. 2016 Aug;17(8):1436-46. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnv023. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Trunk Muscle Size and Composition Assessment in Older Adults with Chronic Low Back Pain: An Intra-Examiner and Inter-Examiner Reliability Study.

Author information

1
*Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA; megsions@udel.edu.
2
Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
3
*Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA;

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate intra- and inter-examiner reliability for the assessment of relative cross-sectional area, muscle-to-fat infiltration indices, and relative muscle cross-sectional area, i.e., total cross-sectional area minus intramuscular fat, from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images obtained in older adults with chronic low back pain.

DESIGN:

Reliability study.

SUBJECTS:

n = 13 (69.3 ± 8.2 years old)

METHODS:

After lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, two examiners produced relative cross-sectional area measurements of multifidi, erector spinae, psoas, and quadratus lumborum by tracing regions of interest just inside fascial borders. Pixel-intensity summaries were used to determine muscle-to-fat infiltration indices; relative muscle cross-sectional area was calculated. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to estimate intra- and inter-examiner reliability; standard error of measurement was calculated.

RESULTS:

Intra-examiner intraclass correlation coefficient point estimates for relative cross-sectional area, muscle-to-fat infiltration indices, and relative muscle cross-sectional area were excellent for multifidi and erector spinae across levels L2-L5 (ICC = 0.77-0.99). At L3, intra-examiner reliability was excellent for relative cross-sectional area, muscle-to-fat infiltration indices, and relative muscle cross-sectional area for both psoas and quadratus lumborum (ICC = 0.81-0.99). Inter-examiner intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from poor to excellent for relative cross-sectional area, muscle-to-fat infiltration indices, and relative muscle cross-sectional area.

CONCLUSIONS:

Assessment of relative cross-sectional area, muscle-to-fat infiltration indices, and relative muscle cross-sectional area in older adults with chronic low back pain can be reliably determined by one examiner from T1-weighted images. Such assessments provide valuable information, as muscle-to-fat infiltration indices and relative muscle cross-sectional area indicate that a substantial amount of relative cross-sectional area may be magnetic resonance-visible intramuscular fat in older adults with chronic low back pain.

KEYWORDS:

Low Back Pain; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Multifidi; Muscle;  Intramuscular Fat

PMID:
26814258
PMCID:
PMC4975013
DOI:
10.1093/pm/pnv023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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