For clinical scenarios commonly encountered in acute burn settings, ultrasound provides feasible and reliable values of quadriceps muscle architecture that can be adapted, according to a study published in Burns. David R. Schieffelers, PhD, and colleagues evaluated the efficiency of ultrasound to measure muscle mass in patients with acute burns. They measured quadriceps muscle layer thickness (QMLT) and rectus femoris cross-sectional area, comparing the use of 1) a single versus average measurements, 2) a proximal versus distal location for QMLT, and 3) a maximum versus no-compression technique for QMLT. The study team found that ultrasound can be performed irrespective of wound status, edema, or thigh size. In addition, ultrasound provided a means for monitoring muscle wasting throughout a patient’s hospital stay. In an acute burn setting, “this study demonstrates high inter-rater reliability and sensitivity,” the study authors wrote.
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