Limb volume measurements: comparison of accuracy and decisive parameters of the most used present methods
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Limb volume measurements are used for evaluating growth of muscle mass and effectivity of strength training. Beside sport sciences, it is used e.g. for detection of oedemas, lymphedemas or carcinomas or for examinations of muscle atrophy. There are several commonly used methods, but there is a lack of clear comparison, which shows their advantages and limits. The accuracy of each method is uncertainly estimated only. The aim of this paper is to determine and experimentally verify their accuracy and compare them among each other. Water Displacement Method (WD), three methods based on circumferential measures—Frustum Sign Model (FSM), Disc Model (DM), Partial Frustum Model (PFM) and two 3D scan based methods Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) were compared. Precise reference cylinders and limbs of two human subjects were measured 10 times by each method. Personal dependency of methods was also tested by measuring 10 times the same object by 3 different people. Accuracies: WD 0.3 %, FSM 2–8 % according person, DM, PFM 1–8 %, MRI 2 % (hand) or 8 % (finger), CT 0.5 % (hand) or 2 % (finger);times: FSM 1 min, CT 7 min, WD, DM, PFM 15 min, MRI 19 min; and more. WD was found as the best method for most of uses with best accuracy. The CT disposes with almost the same accuracy and allows measurements of specific regions (e.g. particular muscles), as same as MRI, which accuracy is worse though, but it is not harmful. Frustum Sign Model is usable for very fast estimation of limb volume, but with lower accuracy, Disc Model and Partial Frustum Model is useful in cases when Water Displacement cannot be used.
KeywordsVolumetric measurements, Volumetric methods, Body volume
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceSpringerPlus. 2015, vol. 4, issue 707, p. 1-15.