Muscle strain is still awanting a noninvasive quantitatively diagnosis tool. High frequency ultrasound (HFU) improves image resolution for monitoring changes of tissue structures, but the biomechanical factors may influence ultrasonography during injury detection. We aim to illustrate the ultrasonic parameters to present the histological damage of overstretched muscle with the consideration of biomechanical factors. Gastrocnemius muscles from mice were assembled and ex vivo passive stretching was performed before or after injury. After injury, the muscle significantly decreased mechanical strength. Ultrasonic images were obtained by HFU at different deformations to scan in cross and longitudinal orientations of muscle. The ultrasonography was quantified by echogenicity and Nakagami parameters (NP) for structural evaluation and correlated with histological results. The injured muscle at its original length exhibited decreased echogenicity and NP from HFU images. Cross-sectional ultrasonography revealed a loss of correlation between NP and passive muscle stretching that suggested a special scatterer pattern in the cross section of injured muscle. The independence of NP during passive stretching of injured muscle was confirmed by histological findings in ruptured collagen fibers, decreased muscle density, and increased intermuscular fiber space. Thus, HFU analysis of NP in cross section represents muscle injury that may benefit the clinical diagnosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)