Research team


Use of ultrasound in the assessment of muscles. Different muscle characteristics are examined and correlated with total body composition data.

Ultrasonographic assessment of muscle: early screening for sarcopenia to prevent functional decline in older people and improve their quality of life. 06/09/2022 - 31/12/2024


Moe- are not being used in practice due to multiple reasons. Both BIA and DEXA can't give qualitative information, and CT and MRI lack reference values, besides the fact that both are impractical to use in routine screening. Also, since muscle mass changes occur at least a decade before alterations in muscle strength, the only way to initiate primary preventive therapies is to detect muscle changes in the earliest stage. At present, in clinical practice, it seems that the most direct and detailed measurement of muscle mass quality and quantity and thus early detection of changes in muscle characteristics can only be done by ultrasonography. The use of this technique is new in the assessment of sarcopenia however, which created two main barriers for widespread use. One of these two was the lack of standardization of the measurement technique, which has been solved by recent efforts. Standardization of ultrasonographic measurement of muscle mass is now clearly described, and supported by the European Geriatric Medicine Society. The only remaining barrier for its widespread use is the availability of reference values and clear cut-off points at which the diagnosis of sarcopenia can be made. To remove this last barrier, this project will measure all available muscle mass characteristics in eight groups. Also muscle strength, function and the correlating (loss of) quality of life will be measured. The first group will be the reference group of participants between 20 and 30 years old. The other groups will consist of 30-40 year olds, 40-50 year olds, 50-60 year olds, 60-70 year olds, 70-80 year olds, 80-90 year olds. The eighth group will consist of older people admitted to nursing homes, to check whether this population has specific muscle characteristics. This project hopes to determine the point at which the change in muscle characteristics have an influence on muscle strength and function. This way, an easy screening system can be set up in order to prevent functional decline and all its negative consequences as early as possible.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project