Effects of thickness of muscle and subcutaneous fat on efficacy of gluteal intramuscular injection sites

Br J Nurs. 2018 Mar 22;27(6):300-305. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2018.27.6.300.


Intramuscular injections given at the dorsogluteal and ventrogluteal sites are intended for the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles, respectively. However, little research has confirmed the reliability of these sites for the presence and thickness of the target and other muscles, and subcutaneous fat. This study characterised and compared these at the V-method and G-method ventrogluteal sites and dorsogluteal site (n=60). Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus were identified at each site, plus tensor fascia latae at ventrogluteal sites. Gluteus maximus and subcutaneous fat were significantly thicker and gluteus minimus significantly thinner at the dorsogluteal site than both ventrogluteal sites. Gluteus medius was the thickest muscle at each injection site, and thicker at the G-method than the V-method ventrogluteal site. Therefore, the dorsogluteal site reliably targets gluteus maximus, and the G-method ventrogluteal site was more reliable than the V-method ventrogluteal site to target gluteus medius in terms of presence and thickness.

Keywords: Dorsogluteal; Injection; Intramuscular; Muscle; Subcutaneous; Ventrogluteal.

MeSH terms

  • Buttocks / anatomy & histology*
  • Buttocks / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Subcutaneous Fat / anatomy & histology*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography