Visual screening of muscle ultrasound images in children

Rick Brandsma, Renate J. Verbeek, Natasha M. Maurits, Johannes H. van der Hoeven, Oebele F. Brouwer, Wilfred F.A. den Dunnen, Huibert Burger, Deborah A. Sival*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In children, non-invasive muscle ultrasound (MU) imaging has become increasingly important for the detection of neuromuscular pathology, by either quantitative or visual assessment. MU quantification requires time, expertise and equipment. If application of visual MU screening provides reliable results, ubiquitous application could be advocated. Previously, we found that visual MU screening can reliably detect segmental neuromuscular alterations within a patient. Analogously, we reasoned that visual MU screening could discern pathologic MU images from healthy controls. We therefore investigated visual screening results by 20 clinical observers (involving 100 MU images, with [n=53] and without [n=47] neuromuscular pathology). MU screening revealed adequate sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value (85%, 75% and 82%, respectively). MU-experienced observers revealed higher specificity than MU-inexperienced observers (86% vs. 69%, p=0.005). We conclude that clinical observers can identify neuromuscular pathology by visual screening. To enhance specificity, a secondary view by an expert appears advisory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2345-2351
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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