As of the latest update, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge have made a breaking change to how file uploads are handled. Once your system installs this update, you will not be able to upload new images. Please use another browser until we can get it fixed.


Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Justin Rich et al.

Atrophy is a reduction in the size of an organ/tissue. Microscopically this is a reduction in cell size/volume caused by a reduction in protein synthesis and/or increased protein degradation 1.

Atrophy may be physiologic or pathological.

Physiological atrophy is commonly seen in the normal development of embryological structures (e.g. notochord) 1 or the female pelvic organs postmenopause.

Pathological atrophy can have many causes, including:

  • inadequate nutrition
  • reduced workload/usage, such as the reduction of skeletal muscle volume with disuse post fracture
  • denervation leading to skeletal muscle atrophy
  • decreased endocrine/neuroendocrine stimulation
  • ischemia/reduction of blood supply 1
Terms used in radiology
Share article

Article information

rID: 73853
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.