Pharyngeal atrophy in the context of aging: A retrospective MRI analysis. Molfenter S.; Amin M.R.; Branski R.C.; Brumm J.; Hagiwara M.; Roof S.; and Lazarus C.L. 2015.
abstract   bibtex   
Purpose: Age-related loss of muscle bulk and strength has been documented in the tongue and geniohyoid. Our goal was to explore this phenomenon in the pharynx, specifically by measuring pharyngeal wall thickness (PWT) and pharyngeal lumen area (PLA) in a sample of young vs older women. Method(s): MRI scans of the neck were retrospectively reviewed from 60 women equally stratified by 3 age groups (20s, 60s, 70+). Exclusion criteria included dysphagia, c-spine surgery, neurological illness, head and neck malignancy and obstructive sleep apnea. Three de-identified axial slices were extracted per scan for randomized, blinded analysis: at the levels of the anterior inferior border of C2 and C3, and at the pit of the vallecula (Vpit). Pixel-based measures of PWT and PLA were completed using ImageJ and converted to metric units using the calibration markers on the original images. Measures of PWT and PLA (at three levels) were compared between age groups with one-way ANOVAs using Sidak adjustments for post-hoc pairwise comparisons. Result(s): A significant main effect of age was observed for all variables whereby PWT decreases and PLA increases with advancing age (Table 1). Pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences between 20s vs 70+ for all variables and 20s vs 60s for all variables except PWT and PLA at C2. Effect sizes ranged from 0.56-1.34. Conclusions (Including Clinical Relevance): Consistent with the existing sacropenia literature, the pharyngeal muscles appear to atrophy with age and consequently, PLA increases as well. Future work should explore the relationship between pharyngeal muscle size/ atrophy and functional swallowing outcomes. (Table Presented).
@misc{molfenter_s._pharyngeal_2015,
	title = {Pharyngeal atrophy in the context of aging: {A} retrospective {MRI} analysis},
	abstract = {Purpose: Age-related loss of muscle bulk and strength has been documented in the tongue and geniohyoid. Our goal was to explore this phenomenon in the pharynx, specifically by measuring pharyngeal wall thickness (PWT) and pharyngeal lumen area (PLA) in a sample of young vs older women. Method(s): MRI scans of the neck were retrospectively reviewed from 60 women equally stratified by 3 age groups (20s, 60s, 70+). Exclusion criteria included dysphagia, c-spine surgery, neurological illness, head and neck malignancy and obstructive sleep apnea. Three de-identified axial slices were extracted per scan for randomized, blinded analysis: at the levels of the anterior inferior border of C2 and C3, and at the pit of the vallecula (Vpit). Pixel-based measures of PWT and PLA were completed using ImageJ and converted to metric units using the calibration markers on the original images. Measures of PWT and PLA (at three levels) were compared between age groups with one-way ANOVAs using Sidak adjustments for post-hoc pairwise comparisons. Result(s): A significant main effect of age was observed for all variables whereby PWT decreases and PLA increases with advancing age (Table 1). Pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences between 20s vs 70+ for all variables and 20s vs 60s for all variables except PWT and PLA at C2. Effect sizes ranged from 0.56-1.34. Conclusions (Including Clinical Relevance): Consistent with the existing sacropenia literature, the pharyngeal muscles appear to atrophy with age and consequently, PLA increases as well. Future work should explore the relationship between pharyngeal muscle size/ atrophy and functional swallowing outcomes. (Table Presented).},
	journal = {Dysphagia},
	author = {{Molfenter S.} and {Amin M.R.} and {Branski R.C.} and {Brumm J.} and {Hagiwara M.} and {Roof S.} and {Lazarus C.L.}},
	year = {2015},
	keywords = {*aging, *atrophy, *nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, apnea monitoring, calibration, clinical trial, controlled clinical trial, controlled study, dysphagia, effect size, female, head, human, human tissue, imaging software, infant, major clinical study, muscle mass, neck cancer, pharyngeal muscle, randomized controlled trial, single blind procedure, sleep disordered breathing, spine surgery, thickness}
}
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