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 to those in the nonfractured leg in participants from the Baltimore Hip Studies 7th cohort using computed tomography scan imaging. Results. At 2 months postfracture, a single 10mm axial computed tomography scan was obtained at the midthigh level in 43 participants (23 men, 20 women) with a mean age of 79.9 years (range: 65-96 years), and thigh muscle cross-sectional area, cross-sectional area of intermuscular adipose tissue, and mean radiologic attenuation were measured. Total thigh muscle cross-sectional area was less on the side of the fracture by 9.46cm2 (95% CI: 5.97cm2, 12.95cm2) while the cross-sectional area of intermuscular adipose tissue was greater by 2.97cm2 (95% CI: 1.94cm2, 4.01cm2) on the fractured side. Mean muscle attenuation was lower on the side of the fracture by 3.66 Hounsfield Units (95% CI: 2.98 Hounsfield Units, 4.34 Hounsfield Units). 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)1276-1280
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Computed tomography
  • Hip fracture
  • Muscle composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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