Quantitative gray-scale analysis in skeletal muscle ultrasound: a comparison study of two ultrasound devices

S. Pillen, J.P. van Dijk, G. Weijers, W. Raijmann, C.L. de Korte and M.J. Zwarts

Muscle and Nerve 2009;39:781-786



Muscle ultrasound is a useful technique to detect neuromuscular disorders. Quantification of muscle echo intensity (EI) using gray-scale analysis is more reliable and more sensitive compared with visual evaluation of the images. We devised a method to reliably use EI normal values established with one ultrasound device for use with another device. Based on measurements in a dedicated phantom and in 7 healthy subjects, a conversion equation was calculated to convert the mean EI. The reliability of this equation was next evaluated in a follow-up study of 22 healthy children. Mean muscle EI could be reliably converted from one ultrasound device to another. This allows for normal values obtained with one device to be used with other devices, which is an important step forward toward the use of quantitative muscle ultrasound in daily clinical care.