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Lumbar Lordosis Reduction And Disc Bulge May Correlate With Multifidus Muscle Fatty Infiltration In Patients With Single-segment Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Youwen Liu, Yu-zeng Liu, Yong Hai, Guan Li, Yunsheng Wang
Published 2020 · Medicine
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OBJECTIVES To investigate the correlation between fatty infiltration in the multifidus muscle related to the involved nerve root and structural parameters associated with stenosis in patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS). PATIENTS AND METHODS Sixty-four patients with single-segment DLSS at L4-5 were retrospectively enrolled. The fatty infiltration rate (FIR) of the multifidus muscle at L5-S1, lumbar lordosis and the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the structural parameters at L4-5, such as dural sac, disc bulge, ligamentum flava and vertebral body of L5 were measured on magnetic resonance images using ImageJ software. All enrolled patients were divided into an FIR < 25 % group and an FIR ≥ 25 % group according to the FIR of the multifidus muscle at L5-S1. The propensity scores matching and adjustment of potential covariates were performed to reduce the confounding bias between the two groups. RESULTS Lumbar lordosis in the FIR ≥ 25 % group was significantly lower than that in the FIR<25 % group in both cohorts. The mean differences in lumbar lordosis of 14.16 degrees between the two groups in the complete cohort and of 14.23 degrees in the matched cohort remained significant after adjustment. The disc bulge CSA/ vertebral body CSA in the FIR ≥ 25 % group was greater than that in the FIR<25 % group in both cohorts. The mean differences in the disc bulge CSA/ vertebral body CSA between the two groups of 0.67 in the complete cohort and 0.96 in the matched cohort were statistically significant after adjustment. There was no significant difference in the dural sac CSA/ vertebral body CSA and ligamentum flava CSA/ vertebral body CSA between the two groups in either cohort regardless of adjustment. Logistic regression analysis for FIR ≥ 25 % in the multifidus muscle at L5-S1 exhibited that the disc bulge CSA/ vertebral body CSA were independent risk factors with odds ratio (OR) of 8.52, while lumbar lordosis were independent protective factors (OR = 0.72). CONCLUSIONS The disc bulge at the stenosis segment and lumbar lordosis reduction may be correlated with fatty infiltration in the multifidus muscles at L5-S1 in patients with L4-5 single-segment DLSS.
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