Enhanced Echo Intensity of Skeletal Muscle Is Associated With Exercise Intolerance in Patients With Heart Failure

Ippei Nakano, Hiroaki Hori, Arata Fukushima, Takashi Yokota, Shintaro Kinugawa, Shingo Takada, Katsuma Yamanashi, Yoshikuni Obata, Yasuyuki Kitaura, Naoya Kakutani, Takahiro Abe, Toshihisa Anzai

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Skeletal muscle is quantitatively and qualitatively impaired in patients with heart failure (HF), which is closely linked to lowered exercise capacity. Ultrasonography (US) for skeletal muscle has emerged as a useful, noninvasive tool to evaluate muscle quality and quantity. Here we investigated whether muscle quality based on US-derived echo intensity (EI) is associated with exercise capacity in patients with HF. Methods and Results: Fifty-eight patients with HF (61 ± 12 years) and 28 control subjects (58 ± 14 years) were studied. The quadriceps femoris echo intensity (QEI) was significantly higher and the quadriceps femoris muscle thickness (QMT) was significantly lower in the patients with HF than the controls (88.3 ± 13.4 vs 81.1 ± 7.5, P=.010; 5.21 ± 1.10 vs 6.54 ±1.34 cm, P<.001, respectively). By univariate analysis, QEI was significantly correlated with age, peak oxygen uptake (VO2), and New York Heart Association class in the HF group. A multivariable analysis revealed that the QEI was independently associated with peak VO2 after adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, and QMT: β-coefficient = −11.80, 95%CI (−20.73, −2.86), P=.011. Conclusion: Enhanced EI in skeletal muscle was independently associated with lowered exercise capacity in HF. The measurement of EI is low-cost, easily accessible, and suitable for assessment of HF-related alterations in skeletal muscle quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-693
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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