Comparison of four sarcopenia screening tools in nursing home residents

  • Ming Yang
  • Jing Lu
  • Jiaojiao Jiang
  • Yanli Zeng
  • Huairong TangEmail author
Original Article



Several screening tools have been developed for identifying sarcopenia in elderly nursing home residents.


To compare the diagnostic accuracy of four sarcopenia screening tools in nursing homes: Mini Sarcopenia Risk Assessment full version (MSRA-7) and short version (MSRA-5), SARC-F, and SARC-F combined with calf circumference (SARC-CalF).


Elderly nursing home residents (aged ≥ 65 years) were recruited. Four common diagnostic criteria (EWGSOP, AWGS, IWGS, and FNIH) were separately applied as the “gold standard”. The sensitivity/specificity analyses of the four tools were calculated. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and area under the ROC curves (AUC) were applied to compare the overall diagnostic accuracy.


We included 277 participants aged 81.6 ± 3.3 years. Using different “gold standards”, the sensitivity of SARC-CalF, SARC-F, MSRA-7, and MSRA-5 ranged from 55.7 to 64.4%, from 17.0 to 21.8%, from 53.3 to 57.8%, and from 49.1 to 56.7%, respectively, whereas the specificity ranged from 84.5 to 86.5%, from 96.8 to 98.4%, from 80.2 to 84.2%, and from 82.8 to 84.1%, respectively. Regardless of the “gold standard”, SARC-CalF had the largest AUC (from 0.816 to 0.867) among the tools; the AUC of SARC-F (from 0.769 to 0.791) and MSRA-5 (from 0.713 to 0.767) was not significantly different; whereas MSRA-7 had the smallest AUC (from 0.681 to 0.746).


Among the four screening tools, SARC-CalF appears to be an optimal choice for screening sarcopenia in nursing home residents. SARC-F and MSRA-5 are alternatives, of which, SARC-F has a better specificity and MSRA-5 has a better sensitivity.


Sarcopenia Nursing home Screening Specificity Sensitivity 



This study was supported by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Sichuan Province (No. ZH2018-102 and No. 2018-116). The sponsor had no role in the design, methods, data collection, analysis or preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Human and animal rights

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any study with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all the participants in this study or their legal proxies.

Supplementary material

40520_2018_1083_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (151 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 150 KB)
40520_2018_1083_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (167 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 166 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Precision Medicine Research Center, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.The Center of Rehabilitation, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  5. 5.Institute for Disaster Management and ReconstructionSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  6. 6.School of NursingChengdu University of Traditional Chinese MedicineChengduChina
  7. 7.Health Management Center, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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