Validating quantitative ultrasound measures of upper limb muscle size

Researcher(s): Dr. Michael Berger

Muscle strength, especially in the upper limb, is a very important outcome related to physical functioning and quality of life. However, current strength testing devices (dynamometers) are unable to capture the strength of a single muscle and often focus on the lower rather than the upper limb. A measurement that is closely related to muscle strength is muscle size.

One method that has been reliably used to measure the size of muscles is ultrasound (US), which is an accessible and non-invasive device. However, there is still a lack of research on the use of US measurements of muscle size as it relates to muscle strength in individual muscles of the upper limb. Understanding the association between US measures of muscle size and measures of the same muscles using a strength testing device can add to our current methods and be useful for assessing physical functioning in medical settings. This is done by finding the association between US measures and strength testing device measures. The study will focus on muscles of the upper limb including the biceps brachii, brachialis, triceps brachii, flexor pollicis longus, and first dorsal interosseus.

Why should you participate in this study?

Anyone 18 years or older who are interested in understanding the morphological characteristics of their upper limb muscles and the relationship of these values with their strength.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Able to attend and comply with the testing protocols
  • Able to provide informed written consent
  • Able to understand and speak English or have access to an appropriate interpreter

You will not be eligible to participate in this study if you have:

  • A significant medical condition that could be negatively impacted by strength testing, which includes but is not limited to congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive lung disease, active infection, and chronic kidney or liver disease.

Time commitment

60 minutes (single session)

This study will take place at:

  • ICORD/Blusson Spinal Cord Centre (818 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver)

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Christina Whang, by email at or by phone at (604) 675-8816.