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Lumbar Muscle Fat Content Has More Correlations with Living Quality than Sagittal Vertical Axis in Elderly Patients with Degenerative Lumbar Disorders

Authors Zhu W, Wang W, Kong C, Wang Y, Pan F, Lu S

Received 12 June 2020

Accepted for publication 26 August 2020

Published 22 September 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1717—1726


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Zhi-Ying Wu

Weiguo Zhu1,2 ,* Wei Wang1,2 ,* Chao Kong,1,2 Yu Wang,1,2 Fumin Pan,1,2 Shibao Lu1,2

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Capital Medical University Xuanwu Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Diseases, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Shibao Lu
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Capital Medical University Xuanwu Hospital, Beijing 100053, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: As the most poorly tolerated and debilitating form of spinal malalignment, sagittal imbalance is becoming an increasingly recognized cause of pain and disability in adults. However, there is evidence showing that sagittal imbalance has a weak or no correlation with health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) outcomes. The objective of this study was to describe the direct factor associated with HRQoL in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) assessment.
Patients and Methods: This study retrospectively evaluated the clinical and radiographic information of 179 elderly patients with degenerative lumbar disorders and suboptimal sagittal standing posture (sagittal vertical axis> 50 mm). Patient-reported outcomes were assessed using ODI. Patients with ODI≥ 40% were assigned to Group D (disability), while those with ODI< 40% were assigned to Group ND (non-disability).
Results: Compared with Group ND (n=104), patients in Group D (n=75) had greater thoracolumbar kyphosis, pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), T1 pelvic angle, and fat infiltration, and smaller LL and muscle mass ratio. Pearson analysis revealed a high correlation between the percentage of fat infiltrated and ODI (r=768, P< 0.01) and moderate correlation between SVA and ODI (r=0.408, P< 0.001). Linear regression results indicated that fat infiltration was an independent factor associated with ODI. ODI significantly correlated with SVA in patients with major fat infiltration (r=0.328, P=0.001), while having no correlation with SVA in those with moderate or minor fat infiltration (r=0.083, P=0.464).
Conclusion: Lumbar muscle fat infiltration is an independent factor associated with the living quality in terms of ODI assessment in the elderly population with degenerative lumbar disorders, which has more correlations with ODI scores than the sagittal imbalance. The relationship between HRQoL outcomes and sagittal imbalance depends on the quality of lumbar muscle.

Keywords: elderly patients, living quality, sagittal imbalance, lumbar muscle quality, degenerative lumbar disorders, correlation

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