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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Dec;116(11-12):2125-2133. Epub 2016 Sep 2.

Validity of muscle thickness-based prediction equation for quadriceps femoris volume in middle-aged and older men and women.

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National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, 1 Shiromizu, Kanoya, Kagoshima, 891-2393, Japan.
National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, 1 Shiromizu, Kanoya, Kagoshima, 891-2393, Japan.
Shibaura Institute of Technology, 307 Fukasaku, Saitama Minuma-ku, Saitama, 337-8570, Japan.
Doshisha University, 1-3 Tatara-miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, 610-0394, Japan.
Meiji Gakuin University, 1518 Kamikurata, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 244-8539, Japan.
Chukyo University, 101-2 Yagotohonmachi, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, 466-0825, Japan.
Waseda University, 2-579-15 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama, 359-1192, Japan.



This study examined the validity of muscle thickness (MT)-based prediction equation for the muscle volume of the quadriceps femoris (QFMV) by evaluating the applicability of a prediction equation previously derived from young men and by developing a new prediction equation in middle-aged and older individuals.


The MT at the midpoint of the thigh anterior and QFMV were determined using ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in 30 men and 30 women aged 51 to 77 years. First, we examined the validity of the MT-based prediction equation previously developed for young men to estimate the QFMV of middle-aged and older individuals. Second, we allocated the subjects to validation or cross-validation group and developed a prediction equation for estimating the QFMV using a stepwise multiple regression analysis.


The published equation generated a small but a significant difference between the measured and estimated QFMV, with a systematic error depending on the size of QFMV. A multiple regression analysis for the validation group produced the following equation: QFMV (cm3) = (sex × 267.7) + (MT × 249.3) + (thigh length × 41.1) - 1663.7 (sex: man = 1, woman = 0). R 2 and SEE of the regression equation were 0.888 and 124.4 cm3 (12.0 %), respectively. The developed equation was validated and cross-validated.


For middle-aged and older individuals, the prediction equation previously derived from young men is not applicable, and the newly developed prediction equation with sex, MT, and thigh length as independent variables is applicable for estimating QFMV.


Bland–Altman plot; Cross validation; Magnetic resonance imaging; Ultrasonography

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