Age-related degeneration of the lumbar paravertebral muscles: Systematic review and three-level meta-regression

A. Dallaway*, C. Kite, C. Griffen, M. Duncan, J. Tallis, D. Renshaw, J. Hattersley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Morphological changes of the lumbar spine muscles are not well characterised with ageing. To further the understanding of age-related degeneration of the lumbar spine musculature, normative morphological changes that occur within the paravertebral muscles must first be established. Methods: A systematic review and meta-regressions were conducted adhering to PRISMA guidelines. Searches for published and unpublished data were completed in June 2019. Results: Searches returned 4781 articles. 34 articles were included in the quantitative analysis. Three-level meta-analyses showed age-related atrophy (r = −0.26; 95% CI: −0.33, −0.17) and fat infiltration (r = 0.39; 95% CI: 0.28, 0.50) in the lumbar paravertebral muscles. Degenerative changes were muscle-specific and men (r = −0.32; 95% CI: −0.61, 0.01) exhibited significantly greater muscle atrophy than women (r = −0.24; 95% CI: −0.47, 0.03). Imaging modality, specifically ultrasound, also influenced age-related muscle atrophy. Measurements taken across all lumbar levels revealed the greatest fat infiltration with ageing (r = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.35, 0.74). Moderators explained a large proportion of between-study variance in true effects for muscle atrophy (72.6%) and fat infiltration (79.8%) models. Conclusions: Lumbar paravertebral muscles undergo age-related degeneration in healthy adults with muscle, lumbar level and sex-specific responses. Future studies should use high-resolution imaging modalities to quantify muscle atrophy and fat infiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110856
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume133
Early online date30 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2020

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Keywords

  • Back muscles
  • Healthy ageing
  • Lumbosacral region
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Sarcopenia

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