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Inconsistent Descriptions Of Lumbar Multifidus Morphology: A Scoping Review

Anke Hofste, Remko Soer, Hermie J Hermens, Heiko Wagner, Frits G. J. Oosterveld, André P. Wolff, Gerbrand J. Groen
Published 2020 · Medicine
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Background Lumbar multifidus (LM) is regarded as the major stabilizing muscle of the spine. The effects of exercise therapy in low back pain (LBP) are attributed to this muscle. A current literature review is warranted, however, given the complexity of LM morphology and the inconsistency of anatomical descriptions in the literature. Methods Scoping review of studies on LM morphology including major anatomy atlases. All relevant studies were searched in PubMed (Medline) and EMBASE until June 2019. Anatomy atlases were retrieved from multiple university libraries and online. All studies and atlases were screened for the following LM parameters: location, imaging methods, spine levels, muscle trajectory, muscle thickness, cross-sectional area, and diameter. The quality of the studies and atlases was also assessed using a five-item evaluation system. Results In all, 303 studies and 19 anatomy atlases were included in this review. In most studies, LM morphology was determined by MRI, ultrasound imaging, or drawings – particularly for levels L4–S1. In 153 studies, LM is described as a superficial muscle only, in 72 studies as a deep muscle only, and in 35 studies as both superficial and deep. Anatomy atlases predominantly depict LM as a deep muscle covered by the erector spinae and thoracolumbar fascia. About 42% of the studies had high quality scores, with 39% having moderate scores and 19% having low scores. The quality of figures in anatomy atlases was ranked as high in one atlas, moderate in 15 atlases, and low in 3 atlases. Discussion Anatomical studies of LM exhibit inconsistent findings, describing its location as superficial (50%), deep (25%), or both (12%). This is in sharp contrast to anatomy atlases, which depict LM predominantly as deep muscle. Within the limitations of the self-developed quality-assessment tool, high-quality scores were identified in a majority of studies (42%), but in only one anatomy atlas. Conclusions We identified a lack of standardization in the depiction and description of LM morphology. This could affect the precise understanding of its role in background and therapy in LBP patients. Standardization of research methodology on LM morphology is recommended. Anatomy atlases should be updated on LM morphology.
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Low back and lower-limb muscle performance in male and female recreational runners with chronic low back pain.
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Marco Alessandro Minetto (2018)
10.1007/BF00302141
Selective changes in multifidus dimensions in patients with chronic low back pain
M. J. Stokes (2004)
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Quantification of Multifidus Atrophy and Fatty Infiltration Following a Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy
Ehsan Tabaraee (2015)
10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2006.05.003
Muscle activity onset in the lumbar multifidus muscle recorded simultaneously by ultrasound imaging and intramuscular electromyography.
Ottar Vasseljen (2006)
10.1589/jpts.27.473
Effect of evidence-based trunk stability exercises on the thickness of the trunk muscles
Hoe-song Yang (2015)
10.1097/00007632-199208000-00007
A Universal Model of the Lumbar Back Muscles in the Upright Position
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Dong-Won Suh (2017)
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Jonathan C. Hill (2011)
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Asymmetric Degeneration of Paravertebral Muscles in Patients With Degenerative Lumbar Scoliosis
Najibullah Shafaq (2012)
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Intrarater and interrater reliability of assessment of lumbar multifidus muscle thickness using rehabilitative ultrasound imaging.
Tracy L Wallwork (2007)
10.2519/jospt.2006.36.1.10
Between-day repeatability and symmetry of multifidus cross-sectional area measured using ultrasound imaging.
Janel Frantz Pressler (2006)
10.1007/978-90-368-1627-4
Klinische anatomie en embryologie
Hans J. ten Donkelaar (2016)
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The effect of diaphragm training on lumbar stabilizer muscles: a new concept for improving segmental stability in the case of low back pain
Regina Finta (2018)
10.1016/j.medengphy.2018.07.006
Correlations between core muscle geometry, pain intensity, functional disability and postural balance in patients with nonspecific mechanical low back pain.
Farahnaz Emami (2018)
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Multifidus Degeneration, A New Risk Factor for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Case-Control Study.
Jiayao Jiang (2017)
10.4184/asj.2018.12.3.518
Clinical Correlation between Muscle Damage and Oswestry Disability Index Score after Open Lumbar Surgery: Does Open Surgery Reduces Functional Ability?
Rushama Tandon (2018)
10.1007/s00330-019-06034-w
Lumbar muscle volume in postmenopausal women with osteoporotic compression fractures: quantitative measurement using MRI
Chi Wen C. Huang (2019)
10.3233/JPD-160948
The Cross-Sectional Area of Paraspinal Muscles Predicts the Efficacy of Deep Drain Stimulation for Camptocormia.
Waka Sakai (2017)
CT measurement of trunk muscle areas in patients with chronic low back pain.
Müzeyyen Kamaz (2007)
10.1016/j.jelekin.2018.01.010
Reliability of ultrasound shear-wave elastography in assessing low back musculature elasticity in asymptomatic individuals.
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Comparison of Lateral Abdominal Muscle Thickness and Cross Sectional Area of Multifidus in Adolescent Soccer Players with and without Low Back Pain: A Case Control Study
Pardis Noormohammadpour (2016)
10.3233/BMR-150596
Effects of core stability exercises on multifidus muscles in healthy women and women with chronic low-back pain.
Irina Klizienė (2015)
10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181fef890
Assessment of Association Between Low Back Pain and Paraspinal Muscle Atrophy Using Opposed-Phase Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Population-Based Study Among Young Adults
Niko Paalanne (2011)
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The effects of rehabilitation on the muscles of the trunk following prolonged bed rest
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CT imaging of trunk muscles in chronic low back pain patients and healthy control subjects
Lieven A Danneels (2000)
10.1016/j.pmrj.2013.03.010
Ultrasound measures of the lumbar multifidus: effect of task and transducer position on reliability.
Christian Larivière (2013)
10.1016/j.math.2004.08.013
Ultrasound imaging of lumbar multifidus muscle: normal reference ranges for measurements and practical guidance on the technique.
Maria Stokes (2005)
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Trunk muscle involvement in late-onset Pompe disease: Study of thirty patients
Aída Alejaldre (2012)
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Effects of Trunk Stabilization Exercises on Different Support Surfaces on the Cross-sectional Area of the Trunk Muscles and Balance Ability
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Multilevel Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis of Multifidus-Longissimus Cleavage Planes in the Lumbar Spine and Potential Clinical Applications to Wiltse's Paraspinal Approach
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