Cadaver Validation Of Skeletal Muscle Measurement By Magnetic Resonance Imaging And Computerized Tomography
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) are promising reference methods for quantifying whole body and regional skeletal muscle mass. Earlier MRI and CT validation studies used data-acquisition techniques and data-analysis procedures now outdated, evaluated anatomic rather than adipose tissue-free skeletal muscle (ATFSM), studied only the relatively large thigh, or found unduly large estimation errors. The aim of the present study was to compare arm and leg ATFSM cross-sectional area estimates (cm2) by using standard MRI and CT acquisition and image-analysis methods with corresponding cadaver estimates. A second objective was to validate MRI and CT measurements of adipose tissue embedded within muscle (interstitial adipose tissue) and surrounding muscle (subcutaneous adipose tissue). ATFSM area ( n = 119) by MRI [38.9 ± 22.3 (SD) cm2], CT (39.7 ± 22.8 cm2), and cadaver (39.5 ± 23.0 cm2) were not different ( P > 0.001), and both MRI and CT estimates of ATFSM were highly correlated with corresponding cadaver values [MRI: r = 0.99, SE of estimate (SEE) 3.9 cm2, P < 0.001; and CT: r = 0.99, SEE = 3.8 cm2, P < 0.001]. Similarly good results were observed between MRI- and CT-measured vs. cadaver-measured interstitial and subcutaneous adipose tissue. For MRI-ATFSM the intraobserver correlation for duplicate measurements in vivo was 0.99 [SEE = 8.7 cm2(2.9%), P < 0.001]. These findings strongly support the use of MRI and CT as reference methods for appendicular skeletal muscle, interstitial and subcutaneous adipose tissue measurement in vivo.