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Scientific Reports


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) involves peri-articular sarcopenia. The infrapatellar articularis genu (AG) links to the quadriceps femoris (QF) and can be sampled from discarded tissue during arthroplasty. We predict disuse-mediated changes in AG myofiber type ratio and atrophy similar to reports on the QF during OA. OA AGs (n = 40) were preserved and grouped by poor (≤ 85°; n = 11), fair (90°–110°; n = 19), and good (≥ 115°; n = 10) range of motion (ROM). Immunolabeling of slow and fast myosin heavy chains in AG sections allowed comparing distribution and cross-sectional area (CSA) of type-I (T1) and type-II (T2) myofibers between groups and associating to ROM. T1/T2 ratios in fair and poor ROM groups was consistent with those published in OA QF. Increasing mean ± SD T2 percentages from good (43.31 ± 11.76), to fair (50.96 ± 5.85), and poor (60.02 ± 8.29) ROM groups was significant between poor versus fair (p = 0.018) and good (p < 0.0001) in association with ROM deficits (r = − 0.729; p < 0.0001). T1 and T2 CSA decreased with worsening ROM, which associates with lower symptom scores (r = 0.3198; p = 0.0472). In-depth evaluation of the OA AG as a surrogate for the OA QF relative to serum and/or synovial fluid biomarkers of sarcopenia could refine diagnostics of peri-articular muscle health to guide individualized strength rehabilitation after surgery.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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