Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
ultrasound; sarcopenia; muscular dystrophy; assessment; imaging
Diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound has potential clinical utility in characterizing pathological muscle tissue. Sonography has been long proposed as method of assessing muscle damage due to neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, and more recently, changes in body and tissue composition associated with muscle wasting disorders such as sarcopenia. The use of quantitative ultrasound as an adjunct diagnostic procedure has different technical challenges than the traditional use of ultrasound in clinical medicine. Operator-dependent technique and variation are critical considerations when obtaining measures of echointensity (i.e., tissue composition estimates) and tissue dimensions (i.e., muscle thickness) – key elements of the ultrasound assessment of muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia. The use of calibration phantoms and force-feedback augmented ultrasound may be viable methods of providing operator training and augmenting real-time ultrasound measurement consistency. The standardization of specific assessment techniques, and the development of a means to foster measurement reliability in clinical environments, may increase the utilization of this non-invasive, low-risk, and inexpensive imaging modality in the management of muscle disorders.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Harris-Love MO, Monfaredi R, Ismail C, Blackman MR and Cleary K (2014) Quantitative ultrasound: measurement considerations for the assessment of muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6:172.