Influence of Probe Position in the Measurement of Muscle Thickness and its Association with Lean Mass: an Ultrasound Study

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Rodrigo Lizama-Pérez; Rodrigo Muñoz-Cofré; Nicolás Vidal-Seguel; Ignacio Chirosa Ríos; Daniel Jerez-Mayorga; Leonardo Intelangelo; Luis Chirosa Ríos


Skeletal muscles play a fundamental role in people's lives and their evaluation provides significant information on health. Different tools have been used to evaluate muscle mass, and the evaluation of muscle thickness (MT) using ultrasound has been included as an alternative, which can be performed with the probe in different positions; however, these could present differences. The objectives of this study were to determine whether there are differences in the measurement of MT in the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle using the probe in the longitudinal or transverse position, and to determine its association with the lean mass of the lower limbs. The results indicated no significant differences between MT measurements with the probe in the longitudinal and transverse positions (p =0.084). However, when associating these measurements with lower limb lean mass, it was found that transverse measurements had a strong association (r =0.547; p < 0.001), while longitudinal measurements had a moderate association (r =0.351; p =0.007). This suggests that measurements with the probe positioned transversely to measure the MT would be the best option. Therefore, it could be useful as an indicator of lower limb lean mass in the absence of tools, such as bioelectrical bioimpedance or magnetic nuclear resonance.

KEYWORDS: Lean mass; Sarcopenia; Muscle quality; Muscle thickness; Muscle architecture.

How to cite this article

RODRIGO LIZAMA-PÉREZ, R.; MUÑOZ-COFRÉ, R.; VIDAL-SEGUEL, N.; CHIROSA, R. I.; JEREZ-MAYORGA, D.; INTELANGELO, L.; CHIROSA RÍOS, R. L. Influence of probe position in the measurement of muscle thickness and its association with lean mass: an ultrasound study. Int. J. Morphol., 41(2):640-645, 2023.