Abonnement à la biblothèque: Guest
Portail numérique Bibliothèque numérique eBooks Revues Références et comptes rendus Collections
Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Imprimer: 0278-940X
ISSN En ligne: 1943-619X

Volume 48, 2020 Volume 47, 2019 Volume 46, 2018 Volume 45, 2017 Volume 44, 2016 Volume 43, 2015 Volume 42, 2014 Volume 41, 2013 Volume 40, 2012 Volume 39, 2011 Volume 38, 2010 Volume 37, 2009 Volume 36, 2008 Volume 35, 2007 Volume 34, 2006 Volume 33, 2005 Volume 32, 2004 Volume 31, 2003 Volume 30, 2002 Volume 29, 2001 Volume 28, 2000 Volume 27, 1999 Volume 26, 1998 Volume 25, 1997 Volume 24, 1996 Volume 23, 1995

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2020031124
pages 515-533

Impact of Inter- and Intramuscular Fat on Muscle Architecture and Capacity

Zhenyu Jiang
Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Kendal Marriott
Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Monica R. Maly
Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


There are factors that could affect both muscle architecture and muscle capacity, such as aging, chronic disease, and lifestyle. Few studies have investigated the relationship between muscle fat infiltration, muscle architecture, and muscle capacity. Therefore, a summary and evaluation of the measurements and findings in the existing literature can provide a better understanding of both the effects of age and the pathophysiology of different diseases. Additionally, there are several different measurement tools used to assess fat infiltration in muscle, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and ultrasound (US). However, the reliability and validity of B-mode US for quantifying different muscle architecture parameters, including fat infiltration and muscle quality, need to be determined.


  1. Dickinson M. How animals move: An integrative view. Science. 2000;288(5463):100-6. .

  2. Fukunaga T, Ichinose Y, Ito M, Kawakami Y, Fukashiro S. Determination of fascicle length and pennation in a contracting human muscle in vivo. J Appl Physiol. 1997;82(1):354-8. .

  3. Kawakami Y, Ichinose Y, Fukunaga T. Architectural and functional features of human triceps surae muscles during contraction. J Appl Physiol. 1998;85(2):398-404. .

  4. Fukunaga T, Miyatani M, Tachi M, Kouzaki M, Kawakami Y, Kanehisa H. Muscle volume is a major determinant of joint torque in humans. Acta Physiol Scand. 2001;172(4):249-55. .

  5. Lieber R, Friden J. Functional and clinical significance of skeletal muscle architecture. Muscle Nerve. 2000;23(11):1647-66. .

  6. Rosenberg I. Summary comments. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989;50(5):1231-3. .

  7. Bemben M, Massey B, Bemben D, Misner J, Boileau R. Isometric muscle force production as a function of age in healthy 20- to 74-yr-old men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991;23(11):1302-10. .

  8. Cruz-Jentoft A J, Baeyens JP, Bauer JM, Boirie Y, Cederholm T, Landi F, Martin FC, Michel JP, Rolland Y, Schneider SM, Topinkova E, Vandewoude M, Zamboni M; European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis: Report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Age Ageing. 2010;39(4):412-23. .

  9. Lindle RS, Metter EJ, Lynch NA, Fleg JL, Fozard JL, To bin J, Roy TA, Hurley BF. Age and gender comparisons of muscle strength in 654 women and men aged 20-93 yr. J Appl Physiol. 1997;83(5):1581-7. .

  10. Lauretani F, Russo CR, Bandinelli S, Bartali B, Cavazzini C, Di Iorio A, Corsi AM, Rantanen T, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L. Age-associated changes in skeletal muscles and their effect on mobility: An operational diagnosis of sarcopenia. J Appl Physiol. 2003;95(5):1851-60. .

  11. Yamada M, Kimura Y, Ishiyama D, Nishio N, Abe Y, Ka kehi T, Fujimoto J, Tanaka T, Ohji S, Otobe Y, Koyama S, Okajima Y, Arai H. Differential characteristics of skeletal muscle in community-dwelling older adults. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017;18(9):807.e9-16. .

  12. Clark B, Manini T. What is dynapenia? Nutrition. 2012;28(5):495-503. .

  13. Park SW, Goodpaster BH, Strotmeyer ES, de Rekeneire N, Harris TB, Schwartz AV, Tylavsky FA, Newman AB. Decreased muscle strength and quality in older adults with type 2 diabetes: The health, aging, and body composition study. Diabetes. 2006;55(6):1813-8. .

  14. Al-Majid S, Waters H. The biological mechanisms of cancer-related skeletal muscle wasting: The role of progressive resistance exercise. Biol Res Nurs. 2008;10(1):7-20. .

  15. Robles PG, Sussman MS, Naraghi A, Brooks D, Goldstein RS, White LM, Mathur S. Intramuscular fat infiltration contributes to impaired muscle function in COPD. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015;47(7):1334-41. .

  16. Hamrick MW, McGee-Lawrence ME, Frechette DM. Fatty infiltration of skeletal muscle: Mechanisms and comparisons with bone marrow adiposity. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2016;7:69. .

  17. GoodpasterBH, Park SW, Harris TB, Kritchevsky SB, Nevitt M, Schwartz AV, Simonsick EM, Tylavsky FA, Visser M, Newman AB. The loss of skeletal muscle strength, mass, and quality in older adults: The health, aging and body composition study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006;61(10):1059-64. .

  18. Delmonico MJ, Harris TB, Visser M, Park SW, Conroy MB, Velasquez-Mieyer P, Boudreau R, Manini TM, Nev- itt M, Newman AB, Goodpaster BH. Health Aging and Body. Longitudinal study of muscle strength, quality, and adipose tissue infiltration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(6): 1579-85. .

  19. Ryan A, Buscemi A, Forrester L, Hafer-Macko C, Ivey F. Atrophy and intramuscular fat in specific muscles of the thigh. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2011;25(9):865-72. .

  20. Torriani M, Townsend E, Thomas B, Bredella M, Ghomi R, Tseng B. Lower leg muscle involvement in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: An MR imaging and spectroscopy study. Skeletal Radiol. 2011;41(4):437-45. .

  21. Hilton T, Tuttle L, Bohnert K, Mueller M, Sinacore D. Excessive adipose tissue infiltration in skeletal muscle in individuals with obesity, diabetes mellitus, and peripheral neuropathy: Association with performance and function. Phys Ther. 2008;88(11):1336-44. .

  22. Froeling M, Nederveen AJ, Heijtel DF, Lataster A, Bos C, Nicolay K, Maas M, Drost MR, Strijkers GJ. Diffusion-tensor MRI reveals the complex muscle architecture of the human forearm. J Magn Reson Imag. 2012;36(1):237-48. .

  23. Kearns C, McKeever K, Abe T. Overview of horse body composition and muscle architecture: Implications for performance. Vet J. 2002;164(3):224-34. .

  24. Thom J, Morse C, Birch K, Narici M. Influence of muscle architecture on the torque and power-velocity characteristics of young and elderly men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007;100(5):613-9. .

  25. Selva Raj I, Bird S, Shield A. Ultrasound measurements of skeletal muscle architecture are associated with strength and functional capacity in older adults. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2017;43(3):586-94. .

  26. Olsen N, Qi J, Park J. Imaging and skeletal muscle disease. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2005;7(2):106-14. .

  27. Maden-Wilkinson T, Degens H, Jones D, McPhee J. Comparison of MRI and DXA to measure muscle size and age-related atrophy in thigh muscles. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2013;13(3):320-8. .

  28. Taniguchi M, Yamada Y, Fukumoto Y, Sawano S, Minami S, Ikezoe T, Watanabe Y, Kimura M, Ichihashi N. Increase in echo intensity and extracellular-to-intracellular water ratio is independently associated with muscle weakness in elderly women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017;117(10):2001-7. .

  29. Berger J, Bunout D, Barrera G, de la Maza M, Henriquez S, Leiva L, Hirsch S. Rectus femoris (RF) ultrasound for the assessment of muscle mass in older people. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2015;61(1):33-8. .

  30. Akagi R, Suzuki M, Kawaguchi E, Miyamoto N, Yamada Y, Ema R. Muscle size-strength relationship including ultrasonographic echo intensity and voluntary activation level of a muscle group. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2018;75:185-90. .

  31. Miller J, Herda T, Trevino M, Sterczala A, Ciccone A, Nicoll J. Age-related differences in twitch properties and muscle activation of the first dorsal interosseous. Clin Neurophysiol. 2017;128(6):925-34. .

  32. de Lima FD, Bottaro M, de Oliveira Valeriano R, Cruz L, Battaglini CL, Vieira CA, de Oliveira RJ. Cancer-related fatigue and muscle quality in Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors. Integr Cancer Ther. 2017;17(2):299-305. .

  33. Lieber R, Ward S. Skeletal muscle design to meet functional demands. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011;366(1570):1466-76. .

  34. Rastelli F, Capodaglio P, Orgiu S, Santovito C, Caramenti M, Cadioli M, Falini A, Rizzo G, Lafortuna CL. Effects of muscle composition and architecture on specific strength in obese older women. Exp Physiol. 2015;100(10):1159-67. .

  35. Bickerstaffe A, Beelen A, Zwarts MJ, Nollet F, van Dijk JP. Quantitative muscle ultrasound and quadriceps strength in patients with post-polio syndrome. Muscle Nerve. 2014;51(1):24-9. .

  36. Goodpaster BH, Carlson CL, Visser M, Kelley DE, Scherzinger A, Harris TB, Stamm E, Newman AB. Attenuation of skeletal muscle and strength in the elderly: The Health ABC Study. J Appl Physiol. 2001;90(6):2157-65. .

  37. Mangine GT, Fukuda DH, Townsend JR, Wells AJ, Gonzalez AM, Jajtner AR, Bohner JD, LaMonica M, Hoffman JR, Fragala MS, Stout JR. Sprinting performance on the Woodway Curve 3.0 is related to muscle architecture. Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15(7):606-14. .

  38. Nishihara K, Kawai H, Hayashi H, Naruse H, Kimura A, Gomi T, Hoshi F. Frequency analysis of ultrasonic echo intensities of the skeletal muscle in elderly and young individuals. Clin Interv Aging. 2014;9:1471-8. .

  39. Sipila S, Suominen H. Knee extension strength and walking speed in relation to quadriceps muscle composition and training in elderly women. Clin Physiol. 1994;14(4):433-42. .

  40. Walton J, Roberts N, Whitehouse G. Measurement of the quadriceps femoris muscle using magnetic resonance and ultrasound imaging. Br J Sports Med. 1997;31(1):59-64. .

  41. Miyatani M, Kanehisa H, Ito M, Kawakami Y, Fukunaga T. The accuracy of volume estimates using ultrasound muscle thickness measurements in different muscle groups. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004;91(2-3):264-72. .

  42. Sipila S, Suominen H. Muscle ultrasonography and computed tomography in elderly trained and untrained women. Muscle Nerve. 1993;16(3):294-300. .

  43. Seabolt L, Welch E, Silver H. Imaging methods for analyzing body composition in human obesity and cardiometabolic disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015;1353(1):41-59. .

  44. Bazzocchi A, Filonzi G, Ponti F, Albisinni U, Guglielmi G, Battista G. Ultrasound: Which role in body composition? Eur J Radiol. 2016;85(8):1469-80. .

  45. Young H, Jenkins N, Zhao Q, McCully K. Measurement of intramuscular fat by muscle echo intensity. Muscle Nerve. 2015;52(6):963-71. .

  46. Baker J, Von Feldt J, Mostoufi-Moab S, Noaiseh G, Taratuta E, Kim W, Leonard MB. Deficits in muscle mass, muscle density, and modified associations with fat in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res. 2014;66(11):1612-8. .

  47. Marcus R, Addison O, Kidde J, Dibble L, Lastayo P. Skeletal muscle fat infiltration: Impact of age, inactivity, and exercise. J Nutr Health Aging. 2010;14(5):362-6. .

  48. Narici M, Maganaris C, Reeves N, Capodaglio P. Effect of aging on human muscle architecture. J Appl Physiol. 2003;95(6):2229-34. .

  49. Rogers M, Evans W. Changes in skeletal muscle with aging. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1993;21(1):65-102. .

  50. Deschenes MR. Effects of aging on muscle fibre type and size. Sports Med. 2004;34(12):809-24. .

  51. Trombetti A, Reid KF, Hars M, Herrmann FR, Pasha E, Phillips EM, Fielding RA. Age-associated declines in muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance: Impact on fear of falling and quality of life. Osteoporos Int. 2015;27(2):463-71. .

  52. Manini TM, Clark BC, Nalls MA, Goodpaster BH, Ploutz-Snyder LL, Harris TB. Reduced physical activity increases intermuscular adipose tissue in healthy young adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(2):377-84. .

  53. Nakagawa Y, Hattori M, Harada K, Shirase R, Bando M, Okano G. Age-related changes in intramyocellular lipid in humans by in vivo 1H-MR spectroscopy. Gerontology. 2007;53(4):218-23. .

  54. Tomlinson D, Erskine R, Morse C, Winwood K, Onambele-Pearson G. The impact of obesity on skeletal muscle strength and structure through adolescence to old age. Biogerontology. 2015;17(3):467-83. .

  55. Rolland Y, Lauwers-Cances V, Pahor M, Fillaux J, Grandjean H, Vellas B. Muscle strength in obese elderly women: Effect of recreational physical activity in a cross-sectional study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79(4):552-7. .

  56. Abdelmoula A, Martin V, Bouchant A, Walrand S, Lavet C, Taillardat M, Maffiuletti NA, Boisseau N, Duche P, Ratel S. Knee extension strength in obese and nonobese male adolescents. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012;37(2):269-75. .

  57. Meyer D, Hoppeler H, von Rechenberg B, Gerber C. A pathomechanical concept explains muscle loss and fatty muscular changes following surgical tendon release. J Orthop Res. 2004;22(5):1004-7. .

  58. Gerber C, Schneeberger A, Hoppeler H, Meyer D. Correlation of atrophy and fatty infiltration on strength and integrity of rotator cuff repairs: A study in thirteen patients. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2007;16(6):691-6. .

  59. Bostrom AF, Hielm-Bjorkman AK, Chang YM, Weller R, Davies ES. Comparison of cross sectional area and fat in-filtration of the epaxial muscles in dogs with and without spinal cord compression. Res Vet Sci. 2014;97(3):646-51. .

  60. Snow BJ, Wilcox JJ, Burks RT, Greis PE. Evaluation of muscle size and fatty infiltration with MRI nine to eleven years following hamstring harvest for ACL reconstruction. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012;94(14):1274-82. .

  61. Addison O, Marcus R, Lastayo P, Ryan A. Intermuscular fat: A review of the consequences and causes. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:309570. .

  62. Beasley LE, Koster A, Newman AB, Javaid MK, Ferrucci L, Kritchevsky SB, Kuller LH, Pahor M, Schaap LA, Visser M, Rubin SM, Goodpaster BH, Harris TB; Health ABC Study. Inflammation and race and gender differences in computerized tomography-measured adipose depots. Obesity. 2009;17(5):1062-9. .

  63. Marcus RL, Addison O, LaStayo PC. Intramuscular adipose tissue attenuates gains in muscle quality in older adults at high risk for falling. A brief report. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(3):215-8. .

  64. Kallman DA, Plato CC, Tobin JD. The role of muscle loss in the age-related decline of grip strength: Cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives. J Gerontol. 1990;45(3):M82-8. .

  65. Jungmann PM, Baum T, Nevitt MC, Nardo L, Gersing AS, Lane NE, McCulloch CE, Rummeny EJ, Link TM. Degeneration in ACL injured knees with and without reconstruction in relation to muscle size and fat content-data from the osteoarthritis initiative. PLoS One. 2016;11(12):e0166865. .

  66. Vidt ME, Santago AC II, Tuohy CJ, Poehling GG, Freehill MT, Kraft RA, Marsh AP, Hegedus EJ, Miller ME, Saul KR. Assessments of fatty infiltration and muscle atrophy from a single magnetic resonance image slice are not predictive of 3-dimensional measurements. Arthroscopy. 2016;32(1):128-39. .

  67. Miron Mombiela R, Facal de Castro F, Moreno P, Borras C. Ultrasonic echo intensity as a new noninvasive in vivo bio- marker of frailty. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017;65(12):2685-90. .

  68. Palmer T, Thompson B. Influence of age on passive stiffness and size, quality, and strength characteristics. Muscle Nerve. 2016;55(3):305-15. .

  69. Watanabe Y, Yamada Y, Fukumoto Y, Ishihara T, Yo koyama K, Yoshida T, Miyake M, Yamagata E, Kimura M. Echo intensity obtained from ultrasonography images reflecting muscle strength in elderly men. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:993-8. .

  70. Cadore EL, Izquierdo M, Conceifao M, Radaelli R, Pinto RS, Baroni BM, Vaz MA, Alberton CL, Pinto SS, Cunha G, Bottaro M, Kruel LF. Echo intensity is associated with skeletal muscle power and cardiovascular performance in elderly men. Exp Gerontol. 2012;47(6):473-8. .

  71. Fukumoto Y, Ikezoe T, Yamada Y, Tsukagoshi R, Na kamura M, Mori N, Kimura M, Ichihashi N. Skeletal muscle quality assessed from echo intensity is associated with muscle strength of middle-aged and elderly persons. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(4):1519-25. .

  72. Mangine GT, Fukuda DH, LaMonica MB, Gonzalez AM, Wells AJ, Townsend JR, Jajtner AR, Fragala MS, Stout JR, Hoffman JR. Influence of gender and muscle architecture asymmetry on jump and sprint performance. J Sports Sci Med. 2014;13(4):904-11. .

  73. Young H, Southern W, McCully K. Comparisons of ultra-sound-estimated intramuscular fat with fitness and health indicators. Muscle Nerve. 2016;54(4):743-9. .

  74. Dahlqvist J, Vissing C, Hedermann G, Thomsen C, Vissing J. Fat replacement of paraspinal muscles with aging in healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017;49(3):595-601. .

Articles with similar content:

Diagnostic and Research Techniques in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering, Vol.47, 2019, issue 6
Amanda Farias Zuniga, Peter J. Keir
Aerobic Exercise in Older Adults: Effects on VO2max and Functional Performance
Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Vol.19, 2007, issue 3
Vasilios I. Kalapotharakos
Painful Shoulder Disorders from a Physiotherapeutic View: A Review of Literature
Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Vol.11, 1999, issue 3&4
Eva Solem Bertoft
Painful Shoulder Disorders from a Physiotherapeutic Aspects
Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Vol.29, 2017, issue 1-4
Eva Solem Bertoft
Heart Rate Variability in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering, Vol.41, 2013, issue 2
Robert J. Petrella, Melanie Stuckey