PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The loss of muscle mass in critically ill patients contributes to morbidity and mortality, and results in impaired recovery of physical functioning. The number of publications on the topic is increasing. However, there is a lack of consistent methodology and the most optimal methodology remains unclear, hampering its broad use in clinical practice.
RECENT FINDINGS: There is a large variety of studies recently published on the use of ultrasound for assessment of muscle mass. A selection of studies has been made, focusing on monitoring of muscle mass (repeated measurements), practical aspects, feasibility and possible nutrition and physical therapy interventions. In this review, 14 new small (n = 19-121) studies are categorized and reviewed as individual studies.
SUMMARY: The use of ultrasound in clinical practice is feasible for monitoring muscle mass in critically ill patients. Assessment of muscle mass by ultrasound is clinically relevant and adds value for guiding therapeutic interventions, such as nutritional and physical therapy interventions to maintain muscle mass and promote recovery in critically ill patients.