Ultrasound imaging of the quadriceps muscle in elderly athletes and untrained men

Muscle Nerve. 1991 Jun;14(6):527-33. doi: 10.1002/mus.880140607.


Ultrasound (US) technique was applied to measure the thickness, cross-sectional area (CSA), and internal structure of the quadriceps muscle in 70- to 80-year-old endurance and power athletes and untrained men. Isometric knee extension strength was higher in the power athletes than in the other groups. The mean values for thickness and CSA did not differ between the athletes and the untrained men. The intensity of the intramuscular echo was, however, lower and the echo reflected from the connective tissue septa and bone was higher in the athletes than in the untrained men. Both the CSA and internal structure of the muscle group correlated significantly with muscle strength and number of training kilometers per year. The results suggest that long-term training maintains the muscle architecture and counteracts the age-related replacement of contractile tissue by other tissues such as fat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Sports*
  • Thigh
  • Ultrasonography