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    Tensiomyography detects early hallmarks of bed-rest-induced atrophy before changes in muscle architecture

    Šimunič, Boštjan, Koren, Katja, Rittweger, Jörn, Lazzer, Stefano, Reggiani, Carlo, Rejc, Enrico, Pišot, Rado, Narici, Marco and Degens, Hans (2019) Tensiomyography detects early hallmarks of bed-rest-induced atrophy before changes in muscle architecture. Journal of applied physiology, 126 (4). pp. 815-822. ISSN 8750-7587

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    In young and older people skeletal muscle mass is reduced after as little as seven days of disuse. The declines in muscle mass after such short periods are of high clinical relevance, particularly in older people who show higher atrophy rate, and a slower, or even a complete lack of muscle mass recovery after disuse. Ten men (24.3± 2.6 years) underwent 35 days of 6° head-down tilt bed rest followed by 30 days of recovery. During bed rest, a neutral energy balance was maintained, with three weekly passive physiotherapy sessions to minimise muscle soreness and joint stiffness. All measurements were performed in a hospital at days 1-10 (BR1-BR10), day 16 (BR16), 28 (BR28) and 35 (BR35) of bed rest, and day 1 (R+1), 3 (R+3) and 30 (R+30) after reambulation. Vastus medialis obliquus (VMO), vastus medialis longus (VML) and biceps femoris (BF) thickness (d) and pennation angle (Θ) were assessed by ultrasonography, while twitch muscle belly displacement (Dm) and contraction time (Tc) were assessed with tensiomyography. After bed rest, d and Θ decreased by 13-17% in all muscles (P<.001) and had recovered at R+30. Dm was increased by 42.3-84.4% (P<.001) at BR35 and preceded the decrease in d by 7, 5 and 3 days in VMO, VML and BF, respectively. Tc increased only in BF (32.1%; P<.001) and was not recovered at R+30. Tensiomyography can detect early bed-rest-induced changes in muscle with higher sensitivity before overt architectural changes and atrophy can be detected.

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