Muscle Quality is More Impaired in Sarcopenic Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

C. van de Bool, Harry R. Gosker, Bram van den Borst, Celine op den Kamp, Ilse Slot, Annemie M. W. J. Schols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Quadriceps muscle fiber atrophy and a loss of oxidative type I muscle fibers and mitochondrial content often occur in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which adversely affects exercise performance. Sarcopenia is an age-related syndrome characterized by wasting and weakness of muscle mass. We recently showed in a large cohort of patients that COPD-related sarcopenia, in particular in male patients, was not only associated with impaired quadriceps muscle strength but also with decreased exercise performance endurance, which could imply involvement of altered muscle fiber type composition. Hence, we hypothesized that both the fiber atrophy and loss of oxidative muscle fibers are more pronounced in sarcopenic compared with nonsarcopenic patients with COPD. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate quadriceps muscle fiber-type characteristics in relation to presence of sarcopenia in patients with COPD and in healthy age-matched controls. DESIGN: For this retrospective cross-sectional study, body composition (assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) and quadriceps muscle biopsy (fiber type distribution and sizes) data were collected from 45 patients with COPDs (aged 42-77 years) and 52 healthy controls (aged 50-77 years). Sarcopenia was based on assessment of appendicular skeletal muscle mass index. RESULTS: Sarcopenia was found in 5.8% of healthy controls and in 31.1% of patients with COPD (P < .01). The proportion of oxidative type I fibers and size of type IIx muscle fibers were decreased in patients with COPD, and the sarcopenic subgroup showed a further decreased proportion as well as a lower size of type I fibers. CONCLUSIONS: Type I muscle fiber proportion is lower in sarcopenic compared with nonsarcopenic patients with COPD. Longitudinal studies may elucidate if the loss of muscle oxidative phenotype drives or accelerates the process of muscle wasting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415–420
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • COPD
  • muscle fiber
  • sarcopenia
  • BODY-MASS INDEX
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • OXIDATIVE STRESS
  • VASTUS LATERALIS
  • COPD PATIENTS
  • QUADRICEPS MUSCLE
  • ATROPHY
  • MECHANISMS
  • EXPRESSION
  • MORTALITY

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