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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Med. | doi: 10.3389/fmed.2019.00219

Sarcopenia in axial Spondyloarthritis – call-to-action for future research

  • 1Center for Chronic Disease Studies, Medical School, New University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2West Lisbon Hospital Center, Portugal
  • 3Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte (CHLN), Portugal

Sarcopenia is a syndrome defined as a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder associated with increased likelihood of adverse outcomes as falls, fractures, physical disability and death. The actual definition of sarcopenia is based in reduction of measures for three parameters- strength, muscle mass quantity or quality and physical performance (the determinat of severity). Muscle wasting is a common feature in several chronic diseases, such as spondyloarthritis (SpA), that significantly increases patient’s morbidity and mortality. Although, the huge progress in this field over the last years, the absence of a clear definition and clear diagnostic criteria of sarcopenia, justify the inconsistent information regarding muscle involvement in SpA. Thus, the aim of this review is to collect relevant evidence of muscle changes occurring during the disease process in published literature, according to recommended tools for sarcopenia evaluation proposed by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2). In addition, data on histological, electromyography and biochemical muscle analyses in SpA patients are also reviewed. Overall, a reduction on muscle strength with a systemic decrease in lean mass seems to be associated with a gait speed compromise. This information is usually fragmented with no studies considering the three parameters all together. This paper represents a call-to-action for new studies design in future research.

Keywords: Sarcopenia, Muscle Strength, muscle mass, physical performance, Spondyloarthritis

Received: 20 May 2019; Accepted: 24 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Pimentel-Santos, Valido and Crespo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. Fernando M. Pimentel-Santos, Center for Chronic Disease Studies, Medical School, New University of Lisbon, Lisboa, 1150-082, Portugal,