Can in Vivo Medial Gastrocnemius Muscle–Tendon Unit Lengths be Reliably Estimated by Two Ultrasonography Methods? A Within-Session Analysis

Francesco Cenni*, Simon Henri Schless, Lynn Bar-On, Guy Molenaers, Anja Van Campenhout, Erwin Aertbeliën, Herman Bruyninckx, Britta Hanssen, Kaat Desloovere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A clinically feasible method to reliably estimate muscle–tendon unit (MTU) lengths could provide essential diagnostic and treatment planning information. A 3-D freehand ultrasound (3-DfUS) method was previously validated for extracting in vivo medial gastrocnemius (MG) lengths, although the processing time can be considered substantial for the clinical environment. This investigation analyzed a quicker and simpler method using the US transducer as a spatial pointer (US-PaP), where the within-session reliability of extracting the muscle–tendon unit (MTU) and tendon lengths are estimated. MG MTU lengths were extracted in a group of 14 healthy adults using both 3-DfUS and US-PaP. Two consecutive acquisitions were performed per participant, and the data processed by two researchers independently. The intra-class correlation coefficients were above 0.97, and the standard error of measurements below 3.6 mm (1.5%). This investigation proposes that the simplified US-PaP method is a viable alternative for estimating MG MTU lengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Cite this