PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the echo intensity (EI) values of different ultrasound (US) images of the vastus lateralis (VL) using panoramic imaging in the transverse plane (PTI) and still imaging in the longitudinal plane (SLI). Secondary purposes of this study were to examine VL homogeneity and to determine relationships between subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness (SubQ) adjacent to the muscle and EI. METHODS: Twenty-four recreationally trained collegiate males (20.2 ± 1.6 years; height: 178.1 ± 6.6 cm; weight: 82.2 ± 13.4 kg) participated in this investigation. EI, cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle thickness (MT), and SubQ of the VL were assessed in the dominant limb (DOM) via three PTI and SLI. The best PTI was divided into three compartments of equal horizontal length (tertiles) to examine EI homogeneity. RESULTS: A repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a significant main effect for image/tertile between measures of EI (p < 0.001). The EI of PTI (57.976 ± 8.806 AU) was significantly lower than EI of SLI (65.453 ± 11.023 AU) (p = 0.002), however significant positive correlations existed between the two (r = 0.681; p < 0.001). Additionally, the EI of the SLI was significantly greater than the EI of the lateral tertile (58.717 ± 9.877 AU) (p = 0.001) and the EI of the posterior tertile (56.354 ± 9.887 AU) (p = 0.002). Although there was no significant difference between EI of the SLI and EI of the anterior tertile (59.065 ± 9.126 AU), a trend towards a significant difference was shown (p = 0.051). No significant differences in EI values between tertiles were identified. Significant differences in MT existed between PTI and SLI (PTI: 2.178 ± 0.367 cm; SLI: 2.015 ± 0.397 cm; p = 0.003), however MT values from PTI and SLI were significantly positively correlated with one another (r = 0.809, p < 0.001). Significant differences in SubQ existed between PTI and SLI (PTI: 0.217 ± 0.167 cm; SLI: 0.316 ± 0.225 cm; p < 0.001), however SubQ values from PTI and SLI were significantly positively correlated with one another (r = 0.915, p < 0.001). No relationship between EI and SubQ from either image was found (PTI and SubQ: r = -0.067, p = 0.754; SLI and SubQ: r = -0.114, p = 0.597). SLI yielded slightly lower standard errors of measurement (SEM) and coefficients of variation (CV), indicating better precision compared to PTI. CONCLUSIONS: EI of the VL appears to be homogeneous as assessed in a PTI in recreationally-trained collegiate males. Additionally, PTI and SLI yield different EI, CSA, MT, and SubQ values, but these values are highly correlated. The use of SLI requires less time, equipment, and technical expertise, and therefore may be advantageous for use in future studies.


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Graduation Date





Fukuda, David


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Educational and Human Sciences

Degree Program

Sport and Exercise Science; Applied Exercise Physiology









Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)