Asymmetry in CT Scan Measures of Thigh Muscle 2 Months after Hip Fracture: The Baltimore Hip Studies

Ram R. Miller, Marty Eastlack, Gregory E. Hicks, Dawn E. Alley, Michelle D. Shardell, Denise L. Orwig, Bret H. Goodpaster, Peter J. Chomentowski, William G. Hawkes, Marc C. Hochberg, Luigi Ferrucci, Jay Magaziner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background. Hip fracture is an important problem for older adults with significant functional consequences. After hip fracture, reduced muscle loading can result in muscle atrophy. Methods. We compared thigh muscle characteristics in the fractured leg with those in the nonfractured leg in participants from the Baltimore Hip Studies 7th cohort using computed tomography (CT) scan imaging. Results. At 2 months postfracture, a single 10-mm axial CT scan was obtained at the midthigh level in 47 participants (26 men and 21 women) with a mean age of 80.4 years (range 65-96), and thigh muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), CSA of intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), as well as mean radiological attenuation were measured. Total thigh muscle CSA was less on the side of the fracture by 9.2 cm2 (95% CI: 5.9, 12.4 cm2), whereas the CSA of IMAT was greater by 2.8 cm2 (95% CI: 1.9, 3.8 cm2) on the fractured side. Mean muscle attenuation was lower on the side of the fracture by 3.61 HU (95% CI: 2.99, 4.24 HU). Conclusions. The observed asymmetry is consistent with the effect of disuse and inflammation in the affected limb along with training effects in the unaffected limb due to the favoring of this leg with ambulation during the postfracture period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-756
Number of pages4
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Computed tomography
  • Hip fracture
  • Muscle composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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