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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 398960, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Resistance Exercise with Older Fallers: Its Impact on Intermuscular Adipose Tissue

1Department of Physical Therapy, University of Utah, 520 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
2Department of Radiology, University of Utah, 30 N 1900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA

Received 25 January 2014; Revised 5 March 2014; Accepted 5 March 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editor: Lars L. Andersen

Copyright © 2014 Janelle L. Jacobs et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Greater skeletal muscle fat infiltration occurs with age and contributes to numerous negative health outcomes. The primary purpose was to determine whether intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) can be influenced by an exercise intervention and if a greater reduction in IMAT occurs with eccentric versus traditional resistance training. Methods. Seventy-seven older adults (age 75.5 ± 6.8) with multiple comorbidities and a history of falling completed a three-month exercise intervention paired with either eccentric or traditional resistance training. MRI of the mid-thigh was examined at three time points to determine changes in muscle composition after intervention. Results. No differences in IMAT were observed over time, and there were no differences in IMAT response between intervention groups. Participants in the traditional group lost a significant amount of lean tissue ( ) in the nine months after intervention, while participants in the eccentric group did not ( ). When IMAT levels were partitioned into high and low IMAT groups, there were differential IMAT responses to intervention with the high group lowering thigh IMAT. Conclusions. There is no decrease in thigh IMAT after a three-month exercise intervention in older adults at risk for falling and no benefit to eccentric training over traditional resistance training for reducing IMAT in these individuals.