Reliability and comparison of sonographic methods for in vivo measurement of human biceps femoris long-head architecture

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Medicine and science in sports and exercise





First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID



Wolters Kluwer


Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research


Brusco, C. M., Pinto, R. S., & Blazevich, A. J. (2022). Reliability and comparison of sonographic methods for in vivo measurement of human biceps femoris long-head architecture. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 54(12), 2216-2226. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000003015


Introduction: Biceps femoris long-head fascicle length ( Lf ), fascicle angle (FA), and muscle thickness (MT) estimates obtained across 2 d from extended field-of-view (EFOV) sonographic images were compared with those measured from a collage of single ultrasound images (to visualize entire fascicles) as well as a range of geometric equations and extrapolation methods used on single images. Both test validity and intraday reliability were determined. Methods: Twenty healthy adults (10 men and 10 women) were tested on two occasions (day 1 and day 2), 7 d apart at the same time of day for test-retest measurements. Ultrasound imaging was performed using EFOV and static image acquisition sequences; in the latter, four single images were acquired in-series along the muscle. From these images, Lf was assessed using seven methods: EFOV, collage, manual linear extrapolation, and four different trigonometric equations (termed equations A, B, C, and D), and FA and MT were measured in EFOV, collage, and single images. Results: Lf , FA, and MT measured on days 1 and 2 were not different ( P > 0.05) for any method, reliabilities were very high (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.91- 0.98), and correlations were strong ( ≥ 0.84). Significant correlations ( P < 0.05; r = 0.67- 0.98) were found between EFOV and the other measurement techniques for Lf , FA, and MT. The collage method had the highest reliability for Lf , and highest rank order and correlation with EFOV. Conclusions: Although the six different techniques used to estimate Lf provided values similar to EFOV, higher between-subject measurement variability was observed with trigonometric equations, and the collage method described herein provided the most accurate and reliable results and is therefore recommended for biceps femoris long-head architectural analysis when EFOV is not available.



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