Ultrasonography for measuring rectus abdominis muscles diastasis

Acta Cir Bras. 2007 May-Jun;22(3):182-6. doi: 10.1590/s0102-86502007000300005.


Purpose: Preoperative imaging evaluation may be useful for determining the position of recti abdominis muscles before their correction. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of ultrasonography to measure the width of rectus abdominis muscle diastasis.

Methods: Rectus diastasis was measured by ultrasonography preoperatively in 20 females. Rectus diastasis was measured in seven levels along the anterior rectus sheath by ultrasound after sustained deep inspiration and after expiration. Rectus diastasis, at the same levels, was also measured after its exposition during abdominoplasty by two independent observers, using a surgical compass. These values were compared using Wilcoxon's statistical text, for non independent values.

Results: There was no significant difference between the values obtained by ultrasound and those measured during surgery in the supra-umbilical levels and at the level of the umbilicus. However, below the umbilicus these values differed significantly, showing smaller values in the imaging evaluation.

Conclusion: Ultrasonography is an accurate method to measure rectus diastasis above the umbilicus and at the umbilical level.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Preoperative Care
  • Rectus Abdominis / abnormalities
  • Rectus Abdominis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rectus Abdominis / surgery*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Ultrasonography / methods