Usefulness of a Qualitative Ultrasound Evaluation of the Gastrocnemius–Soleus Complex with the Heckmatt Scale for Clinical Practice in Cerebral Palsy

Nicoletta Battisti, David Milletti, Marco Miceli, Corrado Zenesini, Antonella Cersosimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ultrasound is increasingly used for the evaluation of spastic muscles in cerebral palsy. Increased echo intensity is considered indicative of a muscle fibrous involution. The aim of this study was to highlight any correlation between increased echo intensity of the gastrocnemius–soleus complex and clinical tests for stiffness evaluation, age and functional level measured with the Gross Motor Function Classification System. We used the qualitative echo intensity grading system of the Heckmatt scale (HS) and tested its inter-rater reliability. The study group comprised 60 patients with cerebral palsy. We found a weak significant correlation between HS scores and clinical stiffness measures and between HS and age for all muscles studied, and between the HS and Gross Motor Function Classification System only for the soleus muscle. The study indicated moderate inter-rater reliability, with κ values between 0.60 and 0.73, for almost all muscles studied. Ultrasound provides a useful complementary survey of stiffness tests in cerebral palsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2548-2555
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Volume44
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Echo intensity
  • Gastrocnemius muscle
  • Gastrocnemius–soleus complex
  • Soleus muscle
  • Stiffness
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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