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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 6507692, 11 pages
Research Article

Reduced Appendicular Lean Body Mass, Muscle Strength, and Size of Type II Muscle Fibers in Patients with Spondyloarthritis versus Healthy Controls: A Cross-Sectional Study

1Diakonhjemmet Hospital, National Unit for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology, Department of Rheumatology, Postboks 23 Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Sognsveien 220, 0863 Oslo, Norway
3Diakonhjemmet Hospital, National Advisory Unit on Rehabilitation in Rheumatology, Postboks 23 Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway

Received 18 April 2016; Revised 17 July 2016; Accepted 9 August 2016

Academic Editor: Lars Holm

Copyright © 2016 Kristine Røren Nordén 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.


Introduction. The purpose of this study was to investigate body composition, muscle function, and muscle morphology in patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA). Methods. Ten male SpA patients (mean ± SD age years) were compared with ten healthy controls matched for sex, age, body mass index, and self-reported level of physical exercise. Body composition was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Musculus quadriceps femoris (QF) strength was assessed by maximal isometric contractions prior to test of muscular endurance. Magnetic resonance imaging of QF was used to measure muscle size and calculate specific muscle strength. Percutaneous needle biopsy samples were taken from m. vastus lateralis. Results. SpA patients presented with significantly lower appendicular lean body mass (LBM) (), but there was no difference in bone mineral density, fat mass, or total LBM. Absolute QF strength was significantly lower in SpA patients () with a parallel trend for specific strength (). Biopsy samples from the SpA patients revealed significantly smaller cross-sectional area (CSA) of type II muscle fibers (), but no difference in CSA type I fibers. Conclusions. Results indicate that the presence of SpA disease is associated with reduced appendicular LBM, muscle strength, and type II fiber CSA.