Non-invasive assessment of human multifidus muscle stiffness using ultrasound shear wave elastography: A feasibility study
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
SAGE Publications (UK and US)
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.
There is a lack of numeric data for the mechanical characterization of spine muscles, especially in vivo data. The multifidus muscle is a major muscle for the stabilization of the spine and may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic low back pain (LBP). Supersonic shear wave elastography (SWE) has not yet been used on back muscles. The purpose of this prospective study is to assess the feasibility of ultrasound SWE to measure the elastic modulus of lumbar multifidus muscle in a passive stretching posture and at rest with a repeatable and reproducible method. A total of 10 asymptotic subjects (aged 25.5 ± 2.2 years) participated, 4 females and 6 males. Three operators performed 6 measurements for each of the 2 postures on the right multifidus muscle at vertebral levels L2-L3 and L4-L5. Repeatability and reproducibility have been assessed according to ISO 5725 standard. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) for intra- and inter-observer reliability were rated as both excellent [ICC=0.99 and ICC=0.95, respectively]. Reproducibility was 11% at L2-L3 level and 19% at L4-L5. In the passive stretching posture, shear modulus was significantly higher than at rest (µ < 0.05). This preliminary work enabled to validate the feasibility of measuring the shear modulus of the multifidus muscle with SWE. This kind of measurement could be easily introduces into clinical routine like for the medical follow-up of chronic LBP or scoliosis treatments.
The authors are grateful to the ParisTech BiomecAM chair program on subject-specific musculoskeletal modelling for funding (with the support of ParisTech and Yves Cotrel Foundations, Société Générale, Proteor and Covea).
Vol. 230, No. 8, August 2016, pp. 809 - 814