Effect of aging on human muscle architecture

M. V. Narici, C. N. Maganaris, N. D. Reeves, P. Capodaglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

286 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of aging on human gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscle architecture was evaluated by comparing morphometric measurements on 14 young (aged 27-42 yr) and on 16 older (aged 70-81 yr) physically active men, matched for height, body mass, and physical activity. GM muscle anatomic cross-sectional area (ACSA) and volume (Vol) were measured by computerized tomography, and GM fascicle length (Lf) and pennation angle (θ) were assessed by ultrasonography. GM physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) was calculated as the ratio of Vol/Lf. In the elderly, ACSA and Vol were, respectively, 19.1% (P <0.005) and 25.4% (P <0.001) smaller than in the young adults. Also, Lf and θ were found to be smaller in the elderly group by 10.2% (P <0.01) and 13.2% (P <0.01), respectively. When the data for the young and elderly adults were pooled together, θ significantly correlated with ACSA (P <0.05). Because of the reduced Vol and Lf in the elderly group, the resulting PCSA was found to be 15.2% (P <0.05) smaller. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that aging significantly affects human skeletal muscle architecture. These structural alterations are expected to have implications for muscle function in old age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume95
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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Muscles
Skeletal Muscle
Young Adult
Body Height
Ultrasonography
Tomography
Exercise

Keywords

  • Muscle fiber
  • Muscle strength
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Narici, M. V., Maganaris, C. N., Reeves, N. D., & Capodaglio, P. (2003). Effect of aging on human muscle architecture. Journal of Applied Physiology, 95(6), 2229-2234.

Effect of aging on human muscle architecture. / Narici, M. V.; Maganaris, C. N.; Reeves, N. D.; Capodaglio, P.

In: Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 95, No. 6, 12.2003, p. 2229-2234.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Narici, MV, Maganaris, CN, Reeves, ND & Capodaglio, P 2003, 'Effect of aging on human muscle architecture', Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 95, no. 6, pp. 2229-2234.
Narici MV, Maganaris CN, Reeves ND, Capodaglio P. Effect of aging on human muscle architecture. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2003 Dec;95(6):2229-2234.
Narici, M. V. ; Maganaris, C. N. ; Reeves, N. D. ; Capodaglio, P. / Effect of aging on human muscle architecture. In: Journal of Applied Physiology. 2003 ; Vol. 95, No. 6. pp. 2229-2234.
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