Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2014 - Volume 93 - Issue 7 > Computed Tomography-Based Muscle Attenuation and Electrical...
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American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation:
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000059
Original Research Articles

Computed Tomography-Based Muscle Attenuation and Electrical Impedance Myography as Indicators of Trunk Muscle Strength Independent of Muscle Size in Older Adults

Anderson, Dennis E. PhD; Bean, Jonathan F. MD, MPH; Holt, Nicole E. MPH; Keel, John C. MD; Bouxsein, Mary L. PhD

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Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the associations of computed tomography-based x-ray attenuation and paraspinal electrical impedance myography measures of trunk muscles with absolute and relative (normalized by body weight) trunk extension strength, independent of muscle cross-sectional area.

Design: This is a cross-sectional study of mobility-limited community-dwelling older adults (34 women, 15 men; mean [SD] age, 78.2 [7.2] yrs) recruited from within an existing prospective research cohort. Trunk extension strength, computed tomography-based trunk muscle cross-sectional area and attenuation at L4 level, and paraspinal electrical impedance myography measures were collected.

Results: Attenuation was positively correlated with absolute and relative strength for multiple muscle groups (r = 0.32–0.61, P < 0.05). Paraspinal electrical impedance myography phase was positively correlated with paraspinal attenuation (r = 0.30, P = 0.039) and with relative strength (r = 0.30, P = 0.042). In multivariable linear regressions adjusting for sex and cross-sectional area, attenuations of the anterior abdominal muscles (semipartial r2 = 0.11, P = 0.013) and combined muscles (semipartial r2 = 0.07, P = 0.046) were associated with relative strength.

Conclusions: Although attenuation was associated with relative strength, small effect sizes indicate limited usefulness as clinical measures of muscle strength independent of muscle size. However, there remains a need for additional studies in larger and more diverse groups of subjects.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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