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Muscle characteristics in patients with chronic systemic inflammation



Introduction: Histological characteristics of age-related muscle wasting are type II muscle fiber atrophy, accumulation of oxidative stress-induced lipofuscin granules and decreased satellite cell numbers. There is increasing clinical evidence for a strong correlation between chronic systemic inflammation and age-related muscle wasting. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of chronic systemic inflammation on age-related histological muscle characteristics. Methods: As a model for chronic systemic inflammation, we included 10 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 27 control patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA). Biopsies were taken from the vastus medialis muscle. Results: No significant differences were found in type II muscle fiber atrophy, lipofuscin accumulation, or satellite cell number in RA compared with OA patients. Conclusions: These results suggest there is no association between chronic systemic inflammation in RA and age-related muscle characteristics. Future research should focus on inflammation and satellite cell function. Muscle Nerve 46: 204–209, 2012