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Physiol Meas. 2012 Mar;33(3):N19-28. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/33/3/N19. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Supersonic shear imaging provides a reliable measurement of resting muscle shear elastic modulus.

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EA 4334 Motricité, Interactions, Performance, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France.


The aim of the present study was to assess the reliability of shear elastic modulus measurements performed using supersonic shear imaging (SSI) in nine resting muscles (i.e. gastrocnemius medialis, tibialis anterior, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, triceps brachii, biceps brachii, brachioradialis, adductor pollicis obliquus and abductor digiti minimi) of different architectures and typologies. Thirty healthy subjects were randomly assigned to the intra-session reliability (n = 20), inter-day reliability (n = 21) and the inter-observer reliability (n = 16) experiments. Muscle shear elastic modulus ranged from 2.99 (gastrocnemius medialis) to 4.50 kPa (adductor digiti minimi and tibialis anterior). On the whole, very good reliability was observed, with a coefficient of variation (CV) ranging from 4.6% to 8%, except for the inter-operator reliability of adductor pollicis obliquus (CV = 11.5%). The intraclass correlation coefficients were good (0.871 ± 0.045 for the intra-session reliability, 0.815 ± 0.065 for the inter-day reliability and 0.709 ± 0.141 for the inter-observer reliability). Both the reliability and the ease of use of SSI make it a potentially interesting technique that would be of benefit to fundamental, applied and clinical research projects that need an accurate assessment of muscle mechanical properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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