Novel insights into the pathogenesis of spinal sarcopenia and related therapeutic approaches: A narrative review

Yu Kai Kuo, Yu Ching Lin, Ching Yu Lee, Chih Yu Chen, Jowy Tani, Tsung Jen Huang, Hsi Chang, Meng Huang Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spinal sarcopenia is a complex and multifactorial disorder associated with a loss of strength, increased frailty, and increased risks of fractures and falls. In addition, spinal sarcopenia has been associated with lumbar spine disorders and osteoporosis, which renders making decisions on treatment modalities difficult. Patients with spinal sarcopenia typically exhibit lower cumulative survival, a higher risk of in-hospital complications, prolonged hospital stays, higher postoperative costs, and higher rates of blood transfusion after thoracolumbar spine surgery. Several studies have focused on the relationships between spinal sarcopenia, appendicular muscle mass, and bone-related problems—such as osteoporotic fractures and low bone mineral density—and malnutrition and vitamin D deficiency. Although several techniques are available for measuring sarcopenia, each of them has its advantages and shortcomings. For treating spinal sarcopenia, nutrition, physical therapy, and medication have been proven to be effective; regenerative therapeutic options seem to be promising owing to their repair and regeneration potential. Therefore, in this narrative review, we summarize the characteristics, detection methodologies, and treatment options for spinal sarcopenia, as well as its role in spinal disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3010
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - 02 04 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Image detection
  • Muscle
  • Myogenesis
  • Pathogenesis
  • Spinal sarcopenia


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