Morphometric and dynamic measurements of muscular fascia in healthy individuals using ultrasound imaging: a!summary of the discrepancies and gaps in the current literature, 2018

Topics: Fascia · Ultrasound imaging · Thickness · Strain · Motion

Authors: Caterina Fede, Nathaly Gaudreault, Chenglei Fan, Veronica Macchi, Raffaele De Caro, Carla Stecco


Purpose: The objectives of this work was to conduct a comprehensive state-of-the art review of the current literature to identify any gaps or discrepancies and summarize the main challenges for obtaining a homogeneous evaluation of muscular fascia in healthy individuals.

Methods: An electronic document search using key words and MeSH terms was performed with various databases. Two independent investigators were tasked with the screening of articles and data extraction. A critical appraisal of what is known was then conducted.

Results: The literature search identified 65 articles related to healthy facia in the various databases consulted and 20 articles were kept for the review. The thickest portion of the fascia lata (the iliotibial tract) and the plantar fascia are the most often studied muscular fasciae whereas there is paucity of studies on fascia related to other muscles in the body.

Conclusion: US imaging is suitable to complement physical examination and for evaluating treatment outcomes. However, the small number of studies and the heterogeneity of the methods did not allow us to establish normal reference values for muscular fascia thickness and to provide strong recommendations about measurement protocols.

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