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Article Title

USING ULTRASOUND TO ASSESS SKELETAL MUSCLE THICKNESS OF THE QUADRICEPS IN YOUNG AND OLDER ADULTS

Abstract

J.J. Dickinson1, A.C. D’Lugos2, J.G. Moore1, L.J. D’Acquisto1, J.M. Dickinson, FACSM1

1Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA

2University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Ultrasound imaging (US) is a practical and non-invasive way of measuring skeletal muscle architecture. However, to what extent and how best to use US to identify differences in muscle size that are known to exist between younger and older adults is not fully explored. PURPOSE: To determine 1) the ability of US to be used as a tool to identify differences in quadriceps muscle thickness (MT) between young and older individuals, and 2) the impact of imaging site/anatomical location. METHODS: B-mode ultrasound (Terason 3300) was used to collect two-dimensional images of the quadriceps of one leg in both young (26±4yr, n=8M, 8F) and older (70±7yr, n=7M, 5F) otherwise healthy adults. All images were collected from five anatomical sites along the anterior (A) and lateral (L) plane of the leg corresponding to 59% femur length, 39% femur length, and 22% femur length. All images were collected with the participant in the supine position. MT analyses (Image J) were performed for the rectus femoris (RF), anterior portion of vastus intermedius (AVI), lateral portion of vastus intermedius (LVI), and vastus lateralis (VL), RESULTS: Collapsed across all imaging sites, the older adults had lower average MT (P<0.05) for RF (1.64±0.38 vs. 1.33±0.40cm), AVI (1.66±0.28 vs. 1.22±0.45cm), VL (2.11±0.38 vs. 1.54±0.34cm), and LVI (1.78±0.43 vs. 1.16±0.44cm). Specific to each imaging site, differences between younger and older adults were observed at 2/3 imaging sites for the VL, 0/2 imaging sites for the RF, and 5/5 imaging sites for the VI. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that US is an effective tool to assess MT, and that US is capable of identifying differences in quadriceps MT between younger and older adults. However, consideration may need to be taken when assessing individual muscles and selecting imaging sites/anatomical locations.

Supported by CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research

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