Published on Wed Aug 12 2020

Large-Scale Analysis of Iliopsoas Muscle Volumes in the UK Biobank

Julie Fitzpatrick, Nicolas Basty, Madeleine Cule, Yi Liu, Jimmy D. Bell, E. Louise Thomas, Brandon Whitcher
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Abstract

Psoas muscle measurements are frequently used as markers of sarcopenia and predictors of health. Manually measured cross-sectional areas are most commonly used, but there is a lack of consistency regarding the position of the measurementand manual annotations are not practical for large population studies. We have developed a fully automated method to measure iliopsoas muscle volume (comprised of the psoas and iliacus muscles) using a convolutional neural network. Magnetic resonance images were obtained from the UK Biobank for 5,000 male and female participants, balanced for age, gender and BMI. Ninety manual annotations were available for model training and validation. The model showed excellent performance against out-of-sample data (dice score coefficient of 0.912 +/- 0.018). Iliopsoas muscle volumes were successfully measured in all 5,000 participants. Iliopsoas volume was greater in male compared with female subjects. There was a small but significant asymmetry between left and right iliopsoas muscle volumes. We also found that iliopsoas volume was significantly related to height, BMI and age, and that there was an acceleration in muscle volume decrease in men with age. Our method provides a robust technique for measuring iliopsoas muscle volume that can be applied to large cohorts.