Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31824cc0a9
Research Article

The Relationship Between Spasticity and Muscle Volume of the Knee Extensors in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Pierce, Samuel R. PT, PhD, NCS; Prosser, Laura A. PT, PhD; Lee, Samuel C. K. PT, PhD; Lauer, Richard T. PhD

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between spasticity and muscle volume in children with cerebral palsy (CP), using isokinetic dynamometry and magnetic resonance imaging.

Methods: A retrospective sample of 8 children with diplegic CP was analyzed. One set of 10 passive knee flexion movements was completed at a velocity of 180° per second with concurrent surface electromyography of the medial hamstrings (MH) and vastus lateralis (VL) to assess knee extensor spasticity. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure maximum cross-sectional area and muscle volume of the quadriceps femoris.

Results: The quadriceps femoris muscle volume was positively correlated with MH reflex activity, VL reflex activity, MH/VL co-contraction, and peak knee extensor passive torque (P < .05).

Conclusion: The present findings suggest that higher levels of knee extensor muscle spasticity are associated with greater quadriceps muscle volume in children with spastic diplegic CP.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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