Low body mass index negatively affects muscle mass and intramuscular fat of chronic stroke survivors

PLoS One. 2019 Jan 18;14(1):e0211145. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211145. eCollection 2019.

Abstract

Objective: Relationship between secondary changes in skeletal muscle and body weight in chronic stroke survivors has not yet been carefully examined. The objective of this study was to clarify the relationships between muscle mass, intramuscular fat, and body weight in chronic stroke survivors.

Methods: Seventy-two chronic stroke survivors participated in this study. Transverse ultrasound images were acquired using B-mode ultrasound imaging. Quadriceps muscle mass and intramuscular fat were assessed based on muscle thickness and echo intensity, respectively. We used a stepwise multiple regression analysis to identify the factors that were independently associated with the body mass index. We entered quadriceps thickness and echo intensity of the paretic and non-paretic sides into another stepwise multiple regression model to avoid multicollinearity. Age, sex, type of stroke, time since stroke, thigh length, number of medications, and an updated Charlson comorbidity index were included as the independent variables.

Results: The quadriceps thickness and echo intensity of the paretic and non-paretic sides were significantly independently associated with the body mass index: quadriceps thickness of the paretic side, β = 0.52; quadriceps thickness of the non-paretic side, β = 0.55; quadriceps echo intensity of the paretic side, β = -0.35; quadriceps echo intensity of the non-paretic side, β = -0.27).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that low body mass index is associated with loss of muscle mass and increased intramuscular fat on both the paretic and non-paretic sides of chronic stroke survivors. Further studies examining whether appropriate weight management, along with targeted rehabilitation programs aimed at increasing muscle mass and decreasing intramuscular fat, achieves good outcomes in chronic stroke survivors are warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paresis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Paresis* / physiopathology
  • Quadriceps Muscle* / diagnostic imaging
  • Quadriceps Muscle* / physiopathology
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke* / physiopathology
  • Survivors
  • Ultrasonography

Grants and funding

The authors have no funding to declare.