Relationship Between Hand Function and Handheld Ultrasound Imaging in Inclusion Body Myositis

J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2024 Mar 1;25(3):115-121. doi: 10.1097/CND.0000000000000463.


Objective: Ultrasound studies in inclusion body myositis (IBM) have reported a characteristic pattern of increased echointensity in the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) with relative sparing of the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU). We examined the relationship between echointensity of the FDP and FCU muscles and hand strength or patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

Methods: A total of 15 patients with IBM were recruited. Ultrasound images of the FDP and FCU muscles were obtained by a point-of-care ultrasound and graded using the modified Heckmatt score. Hand grip and neutral pinch strength were measured by dynamometry. PROs were assessed by the IBM Upper Extremity Function Scale.

Results: FDP and/or FCU modified Heckmatt score showed a significant relationship with grip, neutral pinch strength, and PROs.

Conclusions: Point-of-care ultrasound examination of the forearm may serve as an extension of the neuromuscular examination. The semi-qualitative echointensity rating based on modified Heckmatt score seems to correlate well with the objective strength measurement and PROs.

MeSH terms

  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Myositis, Inclusion Body* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Upper Extremity