A rapid point-of-care ultrasound marker for muscle mass and muscle strength in older adults
Age and Ageing
Background/Objectives Sarcopenia is defined as the gradual age-associated loss of both muscle quantity and strength in older adults, and is associated with increased mortality, falls, fractures and hospitalisations. Current sarcopenia criteria use dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measures of muscle mass, a test that cannot be performed at the bedside, unlike point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS). We examined the association between ultrasonic measures of muscle thickness (MT, vastus medialis
... , vastus medialis muscle thickness) and measures of muscle quantity and strength in older adults. Methods A total of 150 older adults (age ≥ 65; mean age 80.0 ± 0.5 years, 66 women, 84 men) were recruited sequentially from geriatric medicine clinics. Each subject had lean body mass (LBM, by bioimpedance assay), grip strength, mid-arm biceps circumference (MABC), gait speed and MT measured. All initial models were adjusted for biological sex. Results In our final parsimonious models, MT showed a strong significant correlation with all measures of muscle mass, including LBM (Standardised β = 0.204 ± 0.058, R2 = 0.577, P < 0.001) and MABC (Standardised β = 0.141 ± 0.067, R2 = 0.417, P = 0.038). With respect to measures of muscle quality, there was a strong significant correlation with grip strength (Standardised β = 0.118 ± 0.115, R2 = 0.511, P < 0.001) but not with subject performance (gait speed). Conclusions MT showed strong correlations with both measures of muscle mass (LBM and MABC) and with muscle strength (grip strength). Although more work needs to be done, PoCUS shows potential as a screening tool for sarcopenia in older adults.