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Echo intensity of the rectus femoris in stable COPD patients

Authors Ye X, Wang MJ, Xiao H

Received 9 June 2017

Accepted for publication 29 August 2017

Published 13 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3007—3015


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Xiong Ye,1 Mingjie Wang,2 Hui Xiao2

1College of Clinical Medicine, Shanghai University of Medicine & Health Sciences, 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether echo intensity of the rectus femoris when measured using ultrasound can distinguish muscles affected by COPD compared with healthy non-COPD affected muscles and whether the severity of ultrasonic abnormalities was associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Methods: Echo intensity, areas of the rectus femoris, and the thickness of quadriceps muscles were measured using ultrasound in 50 COPD outpatients and 21 age-matched non-COPD controls. The results of the 8-Item Short-Form Health Survey and the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy fatigue scales were used to evaluate HRQoL.
Results: There was a significantly higher echo intensity of the rectus femoris in all stages of COPD patients than in age-matched non-COPD subjects; the quadriceps muscle thickness and cross-sectional area of the rectus femoris significantly decreased in COPD GOLD III–IV only. Furthermore, in our stable COPD patients, echo intensity of the rectus femoris was associated with HRQoL independently.
Quantitative ultrasound distinguishes healthy muscles from those affected by COPD grade I–IV, and quality and quantity of muscles are associated with HRQoL and forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Ultrasonic echo intensity of the rectus femoris may be a useful instrument for assessing disease severity and monitoring the changes of skeletal muscle resulting from disease progression or clinical intervention in patients with COPD.

Keywords: echo intensity, ultrasound, rectus femoris, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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