A patient undergoing a stroke may develop a form of sarcopenia that has certain clinical features. It may arise from a direct catabolic signal from the affected brain.


Clinical features of stroke-related sarcopenia:

(1) The sarcopenia starts soon after the stroke.

(2) The decline in muscle mass is fairly rapid.

(3) There are structural muscle changes with a shift towards fast-twitch fibers.

(4) Affected limbs show reduced muscle mass, physical performance and function, resulting in differences between the two sides of the body.

(5) The muscle wasting is not age dependent.

(6) The muscle wasting cannot be explained better by an alternative diagnosis.


Imaging studies (DEXA, CT, MRI) or bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) can be used to quantify the amount of skeletal muscle.


This can contribute to fall risk and disability, especially in the elderly.


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