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Title: Biopsy samples from the erector spinae of persons with nonspecific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) display a decrease in glycolytic muscle fibers
Authors: AGTEN, Anouk 
STEVENS, Sjoerd 
Issue Date: 2020
Source: The spine journal, 20(2), p. 199-206.
Status: Early View
Abstract: Background context Low back pain (LBP) in Western Europe was classified as having the highest disability and overall burden among 291 studied conditions. For an extensive period of time evidence has accumulated related to morphological changes (e.g. atrophy and fat infiltration) of the paraspinal muscles in persons with LBP. Despite this evidence, there is limited knowledge on muscle fiber type composition of these muscles, and their relation to LBP. Purpose The aim of the study is to investigate differences in muscle fiber type composition between persons with non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) and healthy controls for the lumbar erector spinae (ES) and multifidus (MF) muscle. Study design and setting A cross sectional study took place in the REVAL Rehabilitation Research Center, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium. Patient sample Twenty persons with NSCLBP (age: 44.5 ±7.42) and eighteen healthy controls (age: 39.89 ±7.90) participated in this study. Outcome measures The primary outcome measure was paraspinal muscle fiber type composition. Secondary outcomes consisted of physiologic measures (maximal aerobic capacity and back muscle strength) and functional measures (activity level). Methods Biopsy samples were taken from the lumbar ES and MF muscle at the L4 spinal level. These samples were stained using immunofluorescent antibodies against myosin heavy chains (MHC). In each sample, number and size (CSA) of type I, I/IIa, IIa, IIa/x, and IIx muscle fibers were quantified. From these data the relative cross-sectional fiber areas (RCSA) were calculated. To analyze differences in fiber type composition between healthy persons and persons with NSCLBP, a repeated measurements analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. Secondary outcome measures were analyzed using a Student's t-test, and Wilcoxon test. This study was supported by the research fund of Hasselt University without potential conflict of interest. Results There were no significant differences between both groups regarding anthropometric data. There were no significant between group differences for CSA in the ES. Persons with NSCLBP displayed a non-significant (p= 0.0978) increase in the number of type I muscle fibers, and a significant decrease (p= 0.0019) in the number of type IIx muscle fibers in the ES muscle. Persons with NSCLBP also displayed a trend towards a higher (p= 0.0596) RCSA for type I fibers and a significantly lower RCSA for type IIx fibers (p= 0.0411). There were no significant between group differences within the MF. Regarding the secondary outcome measures, there was a significant between group difference in activity level (p=0.0004) and isokinetic back muscle strength (p=0.0342). Conclusions This is the first study to examine muscle fiber type characteristics in both the ES and MF muscle of persons with NSCLBP. Based on muscle fiber characteristics, the paraspinal muscles of persons with NSCLBP seems to display a larger oxidative potential based on an increase of the number type I fibers at the expense of type IIx glycolytic fibers.
Keywords: MultifidusErector Spinae; Myosin heavy chain; muscle fiber; low back pain; biopsy; paraspinal; cross sectional area
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ISSN: 1529-9430
e-ISSN: 1878-1632
DOI: 10.1016/j.spinee.2019.09.023
ISI #: WOS:000509683100008
Rights: 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2021
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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