Table 2: CT-evaluated radiographic density of paraspinal muscles and association with LBP.

ResearchParticipantsSegments measuredLevel of measurementTotal paraspinal muscle density (HU)Partial paraspinal muscle density (HU)Association with LBP

Keller et al. [15]31 adults with chronic LBPT12-L1

L3-L4

L4-L5
Intervertebral discRt: 58.0 (51.7–64.3)
Lt: 55.9 (49.5–62.7)
Rt: 53.7 (48.1–61.9)
Lt: 54.2 (47.5–62.0)
Rt: 49.9 (42.6–55.8)
Lt: 51.3 (46.1–59.1)
Rt: 63.8 (56.4–71.7)
Lt: 59.0 (54.2–66.1)
Rt: 57.0 (53.7–64.3)
Lt: 59.3 (52.5–63.3)
Rt: 51.8 (42.1–58.0)
Lt: 52.8 (46.9–62.5)

Hicks et al. [29]739 men and 788 women aged 70–79L4-L5Intervertebral discMen (total): 25.10 ± 9.33
Women (total): 14.98 ± 9.25
No LBP: 19.32 (18.56–20.08)
Mild LBP: 17.27 (15.83–18.70)
Moderate LBP: 15.99 (14.69–17.28)
Severe LBP: 13.42 (11.28–15.56)
Findings suggest a link between trunk muscle composition and history of LBP as well as reduced functional capacity in older adults

Kalichman et al. [5]187 adultsL3
L4
L5
Intervertebral discValues are mean for the three vertebral levels
Multifidus male: 64.80 ± 11.05
Multifidus female: 57.12 ± 9.98
Erector spine male: 56.84 ± 11.54
Erector spine female: 52.55 ± 7.41
Paraspinal muscle density decreases with age and increases BMI. It is associated with facet joint osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, and disc narrowing but not associated with the occurrence of LBP

Anderson et al. [28]174 men and women, age 81.9 ± 6.4L2Mid-vertebralMen: 27.2 (9.8)
Women: 21.2 (12.1)

HU: Hounsfield units, LBP: low back pain, Rt: right side, and Lt: left side.
Partial paraspinal muscle density was measured using a 6 mm circle in the center of the most preserved muscle mass.