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The feasibility and reliability of measuring forearm muscle thickness by ultrasound in a geriatric inpatient setting: a cross-sectional pilot study

Tijdschriftbijdrage - e-publicatie

Background Given the potential benefits of introducing ultrasound in the clinical assessment of muscle disorders, this study aimed to assess the feasibility and reliability of measuring forearm muscle thickness by ultrasound in a geriatric clinical setting. Methods Cross-sectional pilot study in 25 participants (12 patients aged >= 70 years in an acute geriatric ward and 13 healthy volunteers aged 25-50 years), assessed by three raters. Muscle thickness measurement was estimated as the distance between the subcutaneous adipose tissue-muscle interface and muscle-bone interface of the radius at 30% proximal of the distance between the styloid process and distal insertion of the biceps brachii muscle of the dominant forearm. Examinations were repeated three times by each rater and intra- and inter-rater reliability was calculated. Feasibility analysis included consideration of technological, economic, legal, operational, and scheduling (TELOS) components. Results Mean muscle-thickness measurement difference between groups was 4.4 mm (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4 mm to 6.3 mm], p < 0.001). Intra-rater reliability of muscle-thickness assessment was excellent, with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.947 (95%CI 0.902 to 0.974), 0.969 (95%CI 0.942 to 0.985), and 0.950 (95%CI 0.907 to 0.975) for observer A, B, and C, respectively. Inter-rater comparison showed good agreement (ICC of 0.873 [95%CI 0.73 to 0.94]). Four of the 17 TELOS components considered led to specific recommendations to improve the procedure's feasibility in clinical practice. Conclusion Our findings suggest that US is a feasible tool to assess the thickness of the forearm muscles with good inter-rater and excellent intra-rater reliability in a sample of hospitalized geriatric patients, making it a promising option for use in clinical practice.
Tijdschrift: BMC geriatrics
ISSN: 1471-2318
Volume: 22
Jaar van publicatie:2022
Trefwoorden:A1 Journal article