Recent Issues on Body Composition Imaging for Sarcopenia Evaluation

Korean J Radiol. 2019 Feb;20(2):205-217. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2018.0479.


Recently, sarcopenia has garnered renewed interest. Sarcopenia is a disease characterized by decreased skeletal muscle mass and strength/function, which can impair the quality of life and increase physical disability, adverse metabolic effects, and mortality. Imaging tools for evaluating and diagnosing sarcopenia have developed rapidly. Radiologists should be aware of sarcopenia and its clinical implications. We review current knowledge about sarcopenia, its pathophysiological impact, and advantages and disadvantages of methods for evaluation of sarcopenia focusing on body composition imaging modalities such as whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, CT, and MRI. Controversial issues are discussed, including the lack of consensus and standardization of the disease definition, imaging modality, measurement methods, and diagnostic cutoff points.

Keywords: Body composition; Computed tomography; Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; Magnetic resonance imaging; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcopenia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods