Prolonged bedrest induces accumulation of intramuscular lipid concentration (ILC) in the lumbar musculature; however, spatial distribution of ILC has not been determined. Artificial gravity (AG) mitigates some adaptations induced by 60 day bedrest by creating a head-to-feet force while participants are in a supine position.
To quantify the spatial distribution of accumulation of ILC in the lumbar musculature after 60 day bedrest, and whether this can be mitigated by AG exposure.
Prospective longitudinal study.
Twenty-four healthy individuals (8 females) participated in the study: Eight received 30 min continuous AG (cAG); Eight received 6 × 5 min AG (iAG), interspersed with rests; Eight were not exposed to AG (CRTL).
From 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), axial images were selected to assess lumbar multifidus (LM), lumbar erector spinae (LES), quadratus lumborum (QL), and psoas major (PM) muscles from L1/L2 to L5/S1 intervertebral disc levels. Chemical shift-based 2‐echo lipid and/or water Dixon sequence was used to measure tissue composition. Each lumbar muscle was segmented into four equal quartiles (from medial to lateral).
Participants arrived at the facility for the baseline data collection before undergoing a 60 day strict 6° head-down tilt (HDT) bedrest period. MRI of the lumbopelvic region was conducted at baseline and Day-59 of bedrest. Participants performed all activities, including hygiene, in 6° HDT and were discouraged from moving excessively or unnecessarily.
At the L4/L5 and L5/S1 intervertebral disc levels, 60-day bedrest induced a greater increase in ILC in medial and lateral regions (∼+4%) of the LM than central regions (∼+2%; p