Association of Outcomes of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Low Back Pain and Psoas Measurements Based on Size of Iliopsoas Muscles.

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Introduction: Patients experience variable long-term improvement in chronic back pain despite successful spinal cord stimulation (SCS) trials. Iliopsoas (IP) size has been shown to differ between patients with low back pain and healthy controls. In this study, we examine whether the IP muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) is associated with SCS outcomes.

Materials and methods: We examined patients for whom we had lumbar MRIs 6.3 years prior to SCS and baseline and one-year outcome data. Percent change from baseline to one year was calculated for Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). Correlations between IP muscle CSA, ratio of iliopsoas muscle size to the vertebral body area (P/VBA), and the ratio of iliopsoas muscle size to BMI (P/BMI) were examined. Sex differences were considered.

Results: A total of 73 subjects were included in this study, including 30 females and 43 males. Males had significantly larger IP (males 15.70 ± 0.58, females 9.72 ± 0.43; p < 0.001), P/VBA (males 1.00 ± 0.04, females 0.76 ± 0.03; p < 0.001), and P/BMI ratio (males 0.51 ± 0.02, females 0.32 ± 0.01; p < 0.001) than females. In females, P/VBA predicted NRS worst pain scores (β = 0.82, p = 0.004, r2 = 0.55) and BDI (β = 0.59, p = 0.02, r2 = 0.24). In males, P/BMI was a significant predictor of BDI outcome scores (β = 0.45, p = 0.03, r2 = 0.16). Males who had more muscle mass measured by iliopsoas size had more depression as measured using BDI (p = 0.03, r = 0.61). Females with less muscle mass measured by P/VBA also experienced more depression (p = 0.02, r = 0.74).

Conclusions: Our study showed that psoas measurements correlated with various pain outcomes specifically. P/VBA was most predictive in females and P/BMI in males. Depression correlated with P/BMI, reinforcing the complex relationship between depression and constant chronic pain. Tertile analyses further showed a relationship between iliopsoas CSA and depression in males and females. We provide preliminary data of sex-specific psoas measurements as a risk factor for worse SCS outcomes.





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doi: 10.1111/ner.13375



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