Imaging Evaluation of Fat Infiltration in Paraspinal Muscles on MRI : A Systematic Review with a Focus on Methodology

Gengyu Han, Yu Jiang, Bo Zhang, Chunjie Gong, Weishi Li
2021 Orthopaedic Surgery  
Numerous studies have applied a variety of methods to assess paraspinal muscle degeneration. However, the methodological differences in imaging evaluation may lead to imprecise or inconsistent results. This article aimed to provide a pragmatic summary review of the current imaging modalities, measurement protocols, and imaging parameters in the evaluation of paraspinal muscle fat infiltration (FI) in MRI studies. Web of Science, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched from January 2005 to March 2020
more » ... identify studies that examined the FI of paraspinal muscles on MRI among patients with lumbar degenerative diseases. Intramyocellular lipids measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and FI measured by chemical-shift MRI were both correlated to low back pain and several degenerative lumbar diseases, whereas results on the relationship between FI and degenerative lumbar pathologies using conventional MRI were conflicting. Multi-segment measurement of FI at the lesion segment and adjacent segments could be a prognostic indicator for lumbar surgery. Most studies adopted the center of the intervertebral disc or endplate as the level of slice to evaluate the FI. Compared with visual semiquantitative assessment, quantitative parameters appeared to be precise for eliminating individual or modality differences. It has been demonstrated that fat CSA/total CSA (based on area) and muscle-fat index (based on signal intensity) as quantitative FI parameters are associated with multiple lumbar diseases and clinical outcomes after surgery. Having a good command of the methodology of paraspinal muscle FI on MRI was effective for diagnosis and prognosis in clinical practice.
doi:10.1111/os.12962 pmid:33942525 pmcid:PMC8274185 fatcat:xxo6mnwnufdifggaqmfi4hkr6q