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Sarcopenia assessed by DXA and hand-grip dynamometer: a potential marker of damage, disability and myokines imbalance in inflammatory myopathies.

To assess the ability of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and hand-grip dynamometer to measure damage in inflammatory myopathies (IM). . Forty adult IM patients with a disease duration ≥12 months, low or no disease activity for ≥6 months, were prospectively enrolled.

Thirty healthy age and sex-matched volunteers were enrolled as controls. Whole-body DXA and hand-grip dynamometer were used to measure muscle mass, grip strength and diagnose sarcopenia (EWGSOP2 criteria).

Relationships between the results of strength in 12 muscles, functional tests, patient-reported disability, IMACS damage score, and history of the disease were assessed. The serum levels of potential molecular actors of the damage were measured.

DXA and grip strength measurements took ≤20 min. Both muscle mass and grip strength were decreased in IM patients vs volunteers (-10% and -30% respectively) with a dispersion that varied widely (IQR -24.3% to + 7.8% and -51.3% to -18.9% respectively).

Muscle mass and grip strength were non-redundantly correlated (r up to 0.6, p= 0.0001) with strength in 14 muscles (manual muscle test and hand-held dynamometer), functions (of limbs, respiratory and deglutition muscles), patient-reported disability, damage (extension and severity in muscular and extra-muscular domains), and blood-levels of several myokines. Seven IM patients (17.5%) were sarcopenic.

They had the worst damage, functions impairment, disability and history of severe myopathy. Decreased irisin and osteonectin levels were associated with sarcopenia (AUC 0.71 and 0.80, respectively).

DXA and hand-grip dynamometer are useful tools to assess damage in IM. Irisin and osteonectin may play a role in IM damage pathogenesis.

Bernard Geny


Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg



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Cardiovascular Diseases
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