Purpose: To determine the utility of cross-sectional area (CSA) measurements on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), at the level of the thigh muscles, to estimate muscle mass in discriminating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with sarcopenia from those without. Materials and methods: Consecutive female RA patients were enrolled for this cross-sectional study. Patients were assessed for disease activity, radiological damage, handgrip strength, physical performance and for the presence of sarcopenia, identified in accordance with the EWGSOP2 criteria. A 1.5 T MRI machine was used to scan the thigh muscles. A dimensional region growth algorithm (Horos™) was used to segment the muscles CSAs (in cm2) on MR images located 25 cm above the knee joint (MRI-CSA-25). The MRI-CSA-25 was obtained by summing the CSAs of the individual muscles. MRI-CSA-25 was correlated (Pearson's r) with the other variables, and its optimal cut-off point (Youden index) for sarcopenia diagnosis was identified in relation to the EWGSOP2 criteria. Results: 32 RA female patients were studied, 34.4% diagnosed as sarcopenic. The mean MRI-CSA-25 was 151.00 cm2 for patient with sarcopenia, 275.57 cm2 for patient without sarcopenia (p < 0.001). MRI-CSA-25 correlated significantly with measures of physical performance, and disease activity, but not with radiological damage or age. The MRI-CSA-25 optimal cut-off point in discriminating sarcopenic patients was identified at 182.00 cm2 (AUC-ROC = 0.894). Conclusion: MRI-CSA-25 can differentiate sarcopenic versus non-sarcopenic RA patients, representing an imaging biomarker of this condition.
Quantification of sarcopenia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by measuring the cross-sectional area of the thigh muscles with magnetic resonance imaging / Salaffi, Fausto; Carotti, Marina; Poliseno, Anna Claudia; Ceccarelli, Luca; Farah, Sonia; Di Carlo, Marco; Giovagnoni, Andrea. - In: LA RADIOLOGIA MEDICA. - ISSN 1826-6983. - STAMPA. - (2023). [10.1007/s11547-023-01630-9]