Skip to main content

01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Annals of Intensive Care 1/2017

Ultrasound assessment of rectus femoris and anterior tibialis muscles in young trauma patients

Annals of Intensive Care > Ausgabe 1/2017
Maria Giuseppina Annetta, Mauro Pittiruti, Davide Silvestri, Domenico Luca Grieco, Alessio Maccaglia, Michele Fabio La Torre, Nicola Magarelli, Giovanna Mercurio, Anselmo Caricato, Massimo Antonelli



Quantitative and qualitative changes of skeletal muscle are typical and early findings in trauma patients, being possibly associated with functional impairment. Early assessment of muscle changes—as evaluated by muscle ultrasonography—could yield important information about patient’s outcome.


In this prospective observational study, we used ultrasonography to evaluate the morphological changes of rectus femoris (RF) and anterior tibialis (AT) muscles in a group of young, previously healthy trauma patients on enteral feeding.


We studied 38 severely injured patients (median Injury Severity Score = 34; median age = 40 y.o.) over the course of the ICU stay up to 3 weeks after trauma. We found a progressive loss of muscle mass from day 0 to day 20, that was more relevant for the RF (45%) than for the AT (22%); this was accompanied by an increase in echogenicity (up to 2.5 by the Heckmatt Scale, where normal echogenicity = 1), which is an indicator of myofibers depletion.


Ultrasound evaluation of skeletal muscles is inexpensive, noninvasive, simple and easily repeatable. By this method, we were able to quantify the morphological changes of skeletal muscle in trauma patients. Further studies may rely on this technicque to evaluate the impact of different therapeutic strategies on muscle wasting.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2017

Annals of Intensive Care 1/2017 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet AINS

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update AINS und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.