Sarcopenia, or reduced muscle mass and volume, is due to various factors such as senile change, neuronal degeneration, drug, malignancy, and sepsis. Sarcopenia with the aging process has been evidenced by the decline in muscle mass by 0.5 to 1% per year with 3-5% reduction in muscle strength for 10 years between the ages of 40 and 50, and a 1-2% of decline of mass every year in people aged 60-70. Therefore, early diagnosis and understanding the mechanism of sarcopenia are crucial in the prevention of muscle loss. However, it is still difficult to image changes of muscle microstructure due to a lack of techniques. In this study, we developed an animal model using denervated rats to induce a rapid atrophy in the tibialis anterior (TA) and imaged its structural changes using optical coherence tomography (OCT) along with histologic and ultrasound analyses. Ultrasound showed changes of overall muscle size. Histology revealed that the atrophic TA muscle displayed an increased size variability of muscle fiber and inflammatory changes. Three dimensional OCT imaged the changes of perimysial grid and muscle fiber structure in real time without sacrifice. These observed advantages of multimodal imaging using OCT and ultrasound would provide clinical benefits in the diagnosis of sarcopenia.

© 2014 Optical Society of Korea

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