Longitudinal sensitivity to change of MRI-based muscle cross-sectional area versus isometric strength analysis in osteoarthritic knees with and without structural progression: Pilot data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Institute of Anatomy and Musculoskeletal Research, Paracelsus Medical University, Strubergasse 21, 5020, Salzburg, Austria, .
MAGMA Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics Biology and Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.87). 11/2013; 27(4). DOI: 10.1007/s10334-013-0418-z
Source: PubMed


Biomechanical measurement of muscle strength represents established technology in evaluating limb function. Yet, analysis of longitudinal change suffers from relatively large between-measurement variability. Here, we determine the sensitivity to change of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based measurement of thigh muscle anatomical cross sectional areas (ACSAs) versus isometric strength in limbs with and without structural progressive knee osteoarthritis (KOA), with focus on the quadriceps.
Of 625 "Osteoarthritis Initiative" participants with radiographic KOA, 20 had MRI cartilage and radiographic joint space width loss in the right knee isometric muscle strength measurement and axial T1-weighted spin-echo acquisitions of the thigh. Muscle ACSAs were determined from manual segmentation at 33 % femoral length (distal to proximal).
In progressor knees, the reduction in quadriceps ACSA between baseline and 2-year follow-up was -2.8 ± 7.9 % (standardized response mean [SRM] = -0.35), and it was -1.8 ± 6.8 % (SRM = -0.26) in matched, non-progressive KOA controls. The decline in extensor strength was more variable than that in ACSAs, both in progressors (-3.9 ± 20 %; SRM = -0.20) and in non-progressive controls (-4.5 ± 28 %; SRM = -0.16).
MRI-based analysis of quadriceps muscles ACSAs appears to be more sensitive to longitudinal change than isometric extensor strength and is suggestive of greater loss in limbs with structurally progressive KOA than in non-progressive controls.

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  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To determine the relationship between thigh muscle strength and clinically relevant differences in self-assessed lower leg function.Methods Isometric knee extensor and flexor strength of 4,553 Osteoarthritis Initiative participants (2,651 women and 1,902 men) was related to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function scores by linear regression. Further, groups of male and female participant strata with minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) in WOMAC function scores (6 of 68 units) were compared across the full range of observed values and to participants without functional deficits (WOMAC score 0). The effect of WOMAC knee pain and body mass index on the above relationships was explored using stepwise regression.ResultsPer regression equations, a 3.7% reduction in extensor strength and a 4.0% reduction in flexor strength were associated with an MCID in WOMAC function in women, and, respectively, a 3.6% and 4.8% reduction in men. For strength divided by body weight, reductions were 5.2% and 6.7%, respectively, in women and 5.8% and 6.7%, respectively, in men. Comparing MCID strata across the full observed range of WOMAC function confirmed the above estimates and did not suggest nonlinear relationships across the spectrum of observed values. WOMAC pain correlated strongly with WOMAC function, but extensor (and flexor) muscle strength contributed significant independent information.Conclusion Reductions of approximately 4% in isometric muscle strength and of 6% in strength per body weight were related to a clinically relevant difference in WOMAC functional disability. Longitudinal studies will need to confirm these relationships within persons. Muscle extensor (and flexor) strength (per body weight) provided significant independent information in addition to pain in explaining variability in lower leg function.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare cross-sectional and longitudinal side-differences in thigh muscle anatomical cross-sectional areas (ACSAs), muscle strength, and specific strength (strength/ACSA), between knees with early radiographic change vs knees without radiographic knee osteoarthritis (RKOA), in the same person. Design: 55 (of 4796) Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria of early RKOA in one limb (definite tibiofemoral osteophytes; no radiographic joint space narrowing [JSN]) vs no RKOA (no osteophyte; no JSN) in the contralateral limb. ACSAs of the thigh muscles and quadriceps heads were determined using axial MRIs at 33%/30% femoral length (distal to proximal). Isometric extensor and flexor muscle strength were measured (Good Strength Chair). Baseline quadriceps ACSA and extensor (specific) strength represented the primary analytic focus, and 2-year changes of quadriceps ACSAs the secondary focus. Results: No statistically significant side-differences in quadriceps (or other thigh muscle) ACSAs, muscle strength, or specific strength were observed between early RKOA vs contralateral limbs without RKOA (P ≥ 0.44), neither in men nor in women. The 2-year reduction in quadriceps ACSA in limbs with early RKOA was -0.9 ± 6% (mean ± standard deviation) vs -0.5 ± 6% in limbs without RKOA (statistical difference P = 0.85). Conclusion: Our results do not provide evidence that early unilateral radiographic changes, i.e., presence of osteophytes, are associated with cross-sectional or longitudinal differences in quadriceps muscle status compared with contralateral knees without RKOA. At the stage of early unilateral RKOA there thus appears to be no clinical need for countervailing a potential dys-balance in quadriceps ACSAs and strength between both knees.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
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