Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
ISSN-L : 2432-261X
Quantitative Analysis Concerning Atrophy and Fat Infiltration of the Multifidus Muscle with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Chronic Low Back Pain
Izaya OgonTsuneo TakebayashiHiroyuki TakashimaTomonori MoritaMitsunori YoshimotoYoshinori TerashimaToshihiko Yamashita
Author information

2019 Volume 3 Issue 2 Pages 163-170


Introduction: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) enables detailed analysis of the composition of muscular fat tissues such as intramyocellular lipids (IMCLs) and extramyocellular lipids (EMCLs). The aim of this study was to analyze the EMCL and IMCL of the multifidus muscle (Mm) using MRS in chronic low-back pain (CLBP) patients and identify their possible correlations with age, body mass index (BMI), low-back pain (LBP) visual analog scale (VAS) score, cross-sectional area (CSA), and fat infiltration of the Mm.

Methods: Eighty patients (32 men and 48 women; mean age, 64.7 ± 1.3 years; range, 22-83 years) with VAS scores >30 mm for CLBP were included. We analyzed the gender difference and the possible correlations of age, BMI, LBP VAS, CSA, and fat infiltration of the Mm with the IMCL and EMCL of the Mm. The subjects were divided into five groups as per their age range: < 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. We also analyzed the EMCL and IMCL of the Mm as per the fat infiltration classification.

Results: CSA was larger in the male group, EMCL was higher in the female group, and there was no significant difference in IMCL between the female and male groups. There was a significant positive correlation of EMCL with age (r = 0.33, p < 0.01) and BMI (r = 0.42, p < 0.01) and a significant negative correlation of EMCL with CSA (r = −0.61, p < 0.01). There was a significant positive correlation between IMCL and VAS (r = 0.43, p < 0.01). The EMCL and CSA of the Mm decreased with age, whereas fat infiltration increased with age.

Conclusions: These results suggest that EMCL could indicate Mm degeneration associated with aging, and IMCL could be an effective objective indicator of CLBP. The EMCL and IMCL of the Mm may be useful prognostic markers in rehabilitation strategies.

Fullsize Image
Information related to the author
© 2019 The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research.

SSRR is an Open Access journal distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Anyone may download, reuse, copy, reprint, or distribute articles published in the journal for not-for-profit purposes if they cite the original authors and source properly. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Previous article Next article