Intra-Rater Reliability of Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging for Multifidus Muscles Thickness and Cross Section Area in Healthy Subjects

  •  Mohammad Hosseinifar    
  •  Asghar Akbari    
  •  Fateme Ghiasi    


INTRODUCTION: Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI) must be valuable method for research and rehabilitation. So, the reliability of its measurements must be determined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the intra-rater reliability of RUSI for measurement of multifidus (MF) muscles cross section areas (CSAs), bladder wall diameter, and thickness of MF muscles between 2 sessions in healthy subjects.

METHOD: Fifteen healthy subjects through simple non-probability sampling participated in this single-group repeated-measures reliability study. MF muscles thickness at rest and during contraction, MF muscles CSAs at rest, and bladder diameters at rest and during pelvic floor muscles (PFM) contraction were measured through RUSI. Pearson's correlation coefficient test was used to determine intra-rater reliability of variables.

FINDING: The results showed that intra-class correlation Coefficient (ICCs) values with 95% confidence interval (CI) and the standard error of the measurement (SEM) were good to excellent agreement for a single investigator between measurement occasions. The intra-rater reliability for the bladder wall displacement was high (ICCs for rest and PFM contraction state: 0.96 and 0.95 respectively), for the MF muscles CSAs at the L4 level was good to high (ICCs 0.75 and 0.91 for right (Rt) and left (Lt) side respectively), and for the thickness of MF muscles at two levels, at rest and during two tasks was moderate to high (ICCs: 0.64 to 0.87).

CONCLUSION: The Trans-Abdominal (TA) method of RUSI is a reliable method to quantify the PFM contraction in healthy subjects. Also, the RUSI is a reliable method to measure the MF muscles CSAs, the MF muscles thickness at rest and during functional tasks in healthy subjects.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.