Relationship between quadriceps femoris echo intensity, muscle power, and functional capacity of older men

Eurico Nestor Wilhelm, Anderson Rech, Felipe Minozzo, Regis Radaelli, Cíntia Ehlers Botton, Ronei Silveira Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)


Increased proportion of non-contractile elements can be observed during aging by enhanced skeletal muscle echo intensity (EI). Studies have demonstrated that an increase in rectus femoris EI may affect physical performance. However, it is still unknown whether the whole quadriceps femoris EI (QEI) influences strength, power, and functional capacity of an older population. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the correlation between QEI, the four individual quadriceps portions EI, and muscular performance of older men. Fifty sedentary healthy men (66.1 ± 4.5 years, 1.75 ± 0.06 m, 80.2 ± 11.0 kg) volunteered for the present study. The QEI and EI of the four quadriceps portions were calculated by ultrasound imaging. Knee extension one repetition maximum (1RM), isometric peak torque (PT), and rate of torque development (RTD) were obtained as measures of muscular strength. Muscular power was determined by knee extension with 60 % of 1RM and countermovement jump (CMJ). The 30-s sit-to-stand test was evaluated as a functional capacity parameter. QEI and all individual EI were correlated to functional capacity and power during CMJ (p ≤ 0.05), but rectus femoris EI was not related to knee extension average power (p > 0.05). There were significant correlations between all EI variables, 1RM, PT, and RTD at 0.2 s (p ≤ 0.05), but only vastus medialis EI and QEI were correlated to RTD at 0.05 s (p ≤ 0.05). The results of the present study suggest that QEI is related to muscular power and functional capacity of older subjects, but the EI of some individual quadriceps portions may underestimate the correlations with muscular performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9625
Pages (from-to)1113–1122
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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