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Quantitative muscle ultrasonography using 2D textural analysis: a novel approach to assess skeletal muscle structure and quality in chronic kidney disease

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-20, 15:19 authored by Thomas Wilkinson, Jed Ashman, Luke Baker, Emma Watson, Alice Smith
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by progressive reductions in skeletal muscle function and size. The concept of muscle quality is increasingly being used to assess muscle health, although the best means of assessment remains unidentified. The use of muscle echogenicity is limited by an inability to be compared across devices. Gray level of co-occurrence matrix (GLCM), a form of image texture analysis, may provide a measure of muscle quality, robust to scanner settings. This study aimed to identify GLCM values from skeletal muscle images in CKD and investigate their association with physical performance and strength (a surrogate of muscle function). Transverse images of the rectus femoris muscle were obtained using B-mode 2D ultrasound imaging. Texture analysis (GLCM) was performed using ImageJ. Five different GLCM features were quantified: energy or angular second moment (ASM), entropy, homogeneity, or inverse difference moment (IDM), correlation, and contrast. Physical function and strength were assessed using tests of handgrip strength, sit to stand-60, gait speed, incremental shuttle walk test, and timed up-and-go. Correlation coefficients between GLCM indices were compared to each objective functional measure. A total of 90 CKD patients (age 64.6 (10.9) years, 44% male, eGFR 33.8 (15.7) mL/minutes/1.73 m2) were included. Better muscle function was largely associated with those values suggestive of greater image texture homogeneity (i.e., greater ASM, correlation, and IDM, lower entropy and contrast). Entropy showed the greatest association across all the functional assessments (r = −.177). All GLCM parameters, a form of higher-order texture analysis, were associated with muscle function, although the largest association as seen with image entropy. Image homogeneity likely indicates lower muscle infiltration of fat and fibrosis. Texture analysis may provide a novel indicator of muscle quality that is robust to changes in scanner settings. Further research is needed to substantiate our findings.


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Department of Cardiovascular Sciences


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Ultrasonic Imaging


SAGE Publications



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