eCite Digital Repository

Vastus medialis fat infiltration - a modifiable determinant of knee cartilage loss


Teichtahl, AJ and Wluka, AE and Wang, Y and Wijethilake, PN and Strauss, BJ and Proietto, J and Dixon, JB and Jones, G and Forbes, A and Cicuttini, FM, Vastus medialis fat infiltration - a modifiable determinant of knee cartilage loss, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 23, (12) pp. 2150-2157. ISSN 1063-4584 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Osteoarthritis Research Society International

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.joca.2015.06.016


Background: There is growing interest in the role of intramuscular fat and how it may influence clinical outcomes. Vastus medialis (VM) is a functionally important quadriceps muscle that helps to stabilise the knee joint. This longitudinal study examined the determinants of VM fat infiltration and whether VM fat infiltration influenced knee cartilage volume.

Methods: 250 participants without any diagnosed arthropathy were assessed at baseline between 2005 and 2008, and 197 participants at follow-up between 2008 and 2010. Ambulatory and sporting activity were assessed and magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine knee cartilage volume and VM fat infiltration.

Results: Age, female gender, BMI and weight were positively associated with baseline VM fat infiltration (P ≤ 0.03), while ambulatory and sporting activity were negatively associated with VM fat infiltration (P ≤ 0.05). After adjusting for confounders, a reduction in VM fat infiltration was associated with a reduced annual loss of medial tibial (β = −10 mm3; 95% CI −19 to 0 mm3; P = 0.04) and patella (β = −18 mm3; 95% CI −36 to 0 mm3; P = 0.04) cartilage volume.

Conclusion: This community-based study of healthy adults has shown that VM fat infiltration can be modified by lifestyle factors including weight loss and exercise, and reducing fat infiltration in VM has beneficial effect on knee cartilage preservation. The findings suggest that modifying VM fat infiltration via lifestyle interventions may have the potential to reduce the risk of knee OA.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:exercise, fat, knee, muscle, obesity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
ID Code:101899
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-07-16
Last Modified:2017-11-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page