Sarcopenia: imaging assessment and clinical application

Vito Chianca, Domenico Albano, Carmelo Messina, Salvatore Gitto, Gaetano Ruffo, Salvatore Guarino, Filippo Del Grande, Luca Maria Sconfienza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sarcopenia is a progressive, generalized skeletal muscle disorder characterized by reduction of muscle mass and strength. It is associated with increased adverse outcomes including falls, fractures, physical disability, and mortality, particularly, in elderly patients. Nowadays, sarcopenia has become a specific imaging biomarker able to predict clinical outcomes of patients. Muscle fibre reduction has shown to be an unfavourable pre-operative predictive factor in patients with cancer, and is associated with worse clinical outcomes in terms of postoperative complications, morbidity, mortality, and lower tolerance of chemoradiation therapy. Several imaging modalities, including dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, CT, MRI, and US can be used to estimate muscle mass and quality to reach the diagnosis of sarcopenia. This article reviews the clinical implications of sarcopenia, how this condition can be assessed through different imaging modalities, and future perspectives of imaging of sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3205-3216
Number of pages12
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Body composition
  • Imaging
  • Muscle
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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