Ultrasound helps medics to measure muscle wasting

Researchers led by Dr. Zudin Puthucheary from University College London (London, UK) have identified a new technique that can help determine the severity of muscle loss in critically ill patients.

Sep 6th, 2012
Ultrasound helps medics to measure muscle wasting
Ultrasound helps medics to measure muscle wasting

Researchers led by Dr. Zudin Puthucheary from University College London (London, UK) have identified a new technique that can help determine the severity of muscle loss in critically ill patients.

Patients who are critically ill with multi-organ failure often have significant muscle wasting after recovering from their illness. This can delay their discharge from an intensive care unit and is a major cause of disability affecting quality of life once patients have left the hospital.

Until now, there has been no clinically useful way of measuring muscle wastage, or identifying patients who are at a high-risk from it. However, the researchers have now discovered that they can determine the level of muscle wasting by measuring the circumference of the rectus femoris -- one of the four quadriceps muscles in the leg situated in the middle of the front of the thigh -- using ultrasound imaging.

"Our research has determined that measuring the rectus femoris using ultrasound is a useful tool to analyze the degree of muscle wasting in critically ill patients. This can help healthcare professionals detect those at high-risk of muscle loss and provide interventions to help improve their quality of life. It can also help scientists track muscle response to different interventions, so we can find new solutions to addressing this problem in critically ill patients," says Dr. Puthucheary.

Related ultrasound news from Vision Systems Design that you might also find of interest.

1. 3-D ultrasound software company spins out of Oxford

University of Oxford (Oxford, UK) spin-out Intelligent Ultrasound (Oxford, UK) has raised £610,000 to develop software that can reduce the risk of incorrect or missed diagnoses from ultrasound scans and avoid costly, inconvenient rescans.

2. Ultrasound probe to monitor the vision of astronauts

Scientists at GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY, USA) are involved in a three-year project to build and test a new ultrasound probe that could eventually be used to monitor how spaceflight affects the vision of astronauts.

3. Ultrasound propels nondestructive testing

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM; Kaiserslautern, Germany) have now developed a mobile mechanized ultrasound system that can be used for the nondestructive testing of complex components.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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