Cross-sectional thigh components: computerized tomographic assessment

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985 Aug;17(4):417-21. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198508000-00002.


The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of the Picker Synerview Fourth Generation CT Scanner in assessing cross-sectional areas of muscle, bone, and subcutaneous fat of the thigh. A secondary purpose was to resolve individual muscle bellies using the CT scanner and to determine the effects of body composition in isolating those muscles. Both limbs of one cadaver were used to compare actual cross-sectional areas with the CT images. Each limb was dissected and photographed. Accuracy of repeated measurements was assessed using human volunteers. Absolute and percent error between the CT measurements and the measurements of the cross-sectional areas differed most at the bone. No differences were found between repeat scans. CT images and photographic measurements of individual muscles were generally quite similar, as assessed by absolute and percent error. The gracilis and sartorious were reasonably well defined in those individuals with more than 8% body fat. The results are discussed in terms of possible applications of the CT scanner in sports medicine research.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Female
  • Femur / anatomy & histology
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Football
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / diagnostic imaging
  • Thigh / anatomy & histology
  • Thigh / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*