Medial gastrocnemius muscle volume and fascicle length in children aged 2 to 5 years with cerebral palsy

Barber, Lee, Hastings-Ison, Tandy, Baker, Richard, Barrett, Rod and Lichtwark, Glen (2011) Medial gastrocnemius muscle volume and fascicle length in children aged 2 to 5 years with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 53 6: 543-548. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03913.x

Author Barber, Lee
Hastings-Ison, Tandy
Baker, Richard
Barrett, Rod
Lichtwark, Glen
Title Medial gastrocnemius muscle volume and fascicle length in children aged 2 to 5 years with cerebral palsy
Journal name Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-1622
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03913.x
Volume 53
Issue 6
Start page 543
End page 548
Total pages 6
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim  The aim of this article was to compare medial gastrocnemius muscle volume, physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA), muscle length, fascicle length, and pennation angle in children aged 2 to 5 years with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and in typically developing children.

Method  Fifteen children with spastic CP (11 males, four females; mean age 45mo [SD 15mo]; five with hemiplega; 10 with diplega; 10 classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level I, five at GMFCS level II) and 20 typically developing children (11 males, nine females; mean age 48mo [SD 14mo]) participated in the study. Individuals with spastic CP were included if they had a minimum range of motion of 0° ankle dorsiflexion with the knee extended and were excluded if they had had previous botulinum toxin treatment to the calf muscles or previous calf surgery. Typically developing children were included if they were able to walk independently and were excluded if there was a history of previous lower leg injury or other developmental disorder affecting the lower limb. Freehand two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasound was used to assess muscle properties of the relaxed medial gastrocnemius muscle at three ankle joint angles: maximum dorsiflexion, neutral and maximum plantarflexion. PCSA was calculated as a function of muscle volume and muscle fascicle length and pennation angle was recorded at the neutral ankle joint angle.

  Medial gastrocnemius muscle volume was 22% lower in the group with spastic CP than in the typically developing group, which in the absence of significant group differences in neutral fascicle length gave rise to an equivalent reduction in PCSA for the group with spastic CP. Significant positive correlations were found between muscle volume and age (r=0.63–0.65) and between muscle length and age (r=0.72–0.81) in both groups. Maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle was also reduced in the group with spastic CP (8°) compared with the typically developing group (26°).

The observed reduction in muscle PCSA in the group with spastic CP would be expected to contribute to the clinically observed muscle weakness in spastic CP and suggests the need for early intervention in order to minimize loss of muscle PCSA in spastic CP.
Keyword In vivo
Spastic diplegia
Skeletal muscle
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 36 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 11 Sep 2011, 13:38:57 EST by System User on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences