Prediction and validation of total and regional skeletal muscle volume using B-mode ultrasonography in Japanese prepubertal children
Very few effective field methods are available for accurate, non-invasive estimation of skeletal muscle volume (SMV) and mass in children. We aimed to develop regression-based prediction equations for SMV, using ultrasonography, in Japanese prepubertal children, and to assess the validity of these equations. In total, 145 healthy Japanese prepubertal children aged 6-12 years were randomly divided into two groups: the model development group (sixty boys, thirty-seven girls) and the validation group (twenty-nine boys, nineteen girls). Reference data in the form of contiguous MRI with 1-cm slice thickness were obtained from the first cervical vertebra to the ankle joints. The SMV was calculated by the summation of digitised cross-sectional areas. Muscle thickness was measured using B-mode ultrasonography at nine sites in different regions. In the model development group, strong, statistically significant correlations were observed between the site-matched SMV (total, arms, trunk, thigh and lower legs) measured by MRI and the muscle thickness×height measures obtained by ultrasonography, for both boys and girls. When these SMV prediction equations were applied to the validation groups, the measured total and regional SMV were also very similar to the values predicted for boys and girls, respectively. With the exception of the trunk region in girls, the Bland-Altman analysis for the validation group did not indicate any bias for either boys or girls. These results suggest that ultrasonography-derived prediction equations for boys and girls are useful for the estimation of total and regional SMV.