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MRI quantitation of abdominal skeletal muscle correlates with CT-based analysis: implications for sarcopenia measurement

Khan, Amir Ishaq, Reiter, David A., Sekhar, Aarti, Sharma, Puneet, Safdar, Nabile M., Patil, Dattatraya H., Psutka, Sarah P., Small, William C., Bilen, Mehmet A., Ogan, Kenneth, Master, Viraj A.
Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism 2019 v.44 no.8 pp. 814-819
abdomen, cadaver, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, metabolism, nutrition, patients, pelvis, renal cell carcinoma, retrospective studies, sarcopenia, skeletal muscle
Sarcopenia is associated with poor outcomes in a variety of conditions, including malignancy. Abdominal skeletal muscle area (SMA) segmentation using computed tomography (CT) has been shown to be an accurate surrogate for identifying sarcopenia. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) segmentation of SMA has been validated in cadaver limbs, few studies have validated abdominal SMA segmentation using MRI at lumbar level mid-L3. Our objective was to assess the reproducibility and concordance of CT and MRI segmentation analyses of SMA at mid-L3. This retrospective analysis included a random sample of 10 patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and CT abdomen/pelvis, used to assess intra-observer variability of SMA measurements using CT. An additional sample of 9 patients with RCC and both CT and T2-weighted (T2w) MRI abdomen/pelvis was used to assess intra-observer variability of SMA using MRI and concordance of SMA between MRI and CT. SMA was segmented using Slice-O-Matic. SMA reproducibility was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). SMA concordance was analyzed using Bland–Altman plot and Pearson correlation coefficient. The intra-observer variability of CT and MRI SMA at mid-L3 was low, with ICC of 0.998 and 0.985, respectively. Bland–Altman analysis revealed bias of 0.74% for T2w MRI over CT. The Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.997 (p < 0.0001), demonstrating strong correlation between CT and T2w MRI. Abdominal SMA at mid-L3 is reproducibly segmented for both CT and T2w MRI, with strong correlation between the 2 modalities. T2w MRI can be used interchangeably with CT for assessment of SMA and sarcopenia. This finding has important clinical implications.