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A decade of “sarcopenia”: a systematic review about the use of imaging to assess muscle mass over the last ten years.
Italy (SISM) - University of Milan, Milan
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Dott. Carmelo Messina, Dott. Domenico Albano
Dott. Carmelo Messina, Dott. Domenico Albano
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project without Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
Sarcopenia is a chronic disease characterized by a progressive loss in skeletal muscle mass and strength in the human body. It has clinical implications related to muscle weakness, fracture risk, and several adverse clinical outcomes. This condition is gaining increasing importance, as it has been estimated that in 2016 sarcopenia affected around 20 million people in Europe, with an expected increase to more than 32 million people by 2045. Currently, sarcopenia can be diagnosed by different modalities, with Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) being the technique most commonly used. The recent guideline of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) updated the rationale for imaging, suggesting that DXA should be used in clinical practice, while other techniques (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and bioelectrical impedance analysis) should be used in the research setting.
What is the aim of the project?
To produce a systematic review aimed at summarizing the most commonly used techniques for the diagnosis of reduced muscle mass over the last decade.
What techniques and methods are used?
We will perform the review according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. A systematic search will be conducted using the PubMed (Medline) and EMBASE (Elsevier) databases to identify articles that investigated sarcopenia. Articles will be screened and we will extract data about the year of publication, the study design, the number of patients and which techniques were used.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Students will be expected to: - become familiar with the typical imaging modalities used to assess sarcopenia - understand the basic concepts of clinical use of imaging in the diagnosis of sarcopenia - understand the basic concepts of medical literature research on the most common databases (Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science) - become familiar with the basics of research methodology, particularly with respect to systematic reviews and meta-analyses - apply the methods of bibliographic research to sarcopenia - collaborate on the drafting of papers regarding literature evidence on sarcopenia
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
The student will familiarize themselves with the current diagnostic imaging techniques available for the diagnosis of “low muscle mass” and “sarcopenia”. This will be done in a very practical way by looking at cases or performing certain types of examination (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, CT, MRI).
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster - The student will prepare an abstract - The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication - The student will have the opportunity to present the results together with the supervisor at a conference
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Initiative, curiosity, critical thinking, adaptability. Basic knowledge of medical imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, DXA.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Albano D; Messina C; Vitale J; Sconfienza LM. Imaging of sarcopenia: old evidence and new insights. Eur Radiol. 2019 Dec 13. doi: 10.1007/s00330-019-06573-2.
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