Noninvasive evaluation of muscle mass by ultrasonography of quadriceps femoris muscle in End-Stage Renal Disease patients on hemodialysis

Alice Sabatino, Giuseppe Regolisti, Marco Delsante, Tommaso Di Motta, Chiara Cantarelli, Sarah Pioli, Giulia Grassi, Valentina Batini, Mariacristina Gregorini, Enrico Fiaccadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background & aims: Protein-Energy Wasting (PEW) is a pathological condition of renal patients with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease characterized by a progressive reduction of energy and protein assets. Nutritional status assessment, especially for what concerns muscle mass, is essential for both the identification of patients at risk for the development of PEW, as well as monitoring the effects of nutritional interventions. Ultrasound methods are easily applicable at the bedside for quantitative assessment of skeletal muscle. The present study was aimed at evaluating quadriceps rectus femoris thickness (QRFT) and quadriceps vastus intermedius thickness (QVIT) in patients on chronic hemodialysis. Methods: This was a prospective observational study. Three groups of adult patients were studied: young healthy subjects, well-nourished hospitalized patients with normal renal function, and End-Stage Renal Disease patients on hemodialysis (ESRD-HD). QRFT and QVIT were measured at two sites bilaterally (8 measures/patient) and were compared between groups, and also between subgroups of ESRD-HD patients stratified on the basis of conventional nutritional status parameters. Results: We enrolled 35 healthy subjects, 30 hospitalized patients, and 121 ESRD-HD patients on hemodialysis. QRFT and QVIT of ESRD patients on hemodialysis were lower than those of both control groups (P < 0.001). After stratifying ESRD patients into subgroups based on nutritional variable cut-offs commonly used to define PEW in this clinical setting (BMI [≥ 23 vs <23 kg/m 2 ], albumin [≥3.8 vs <3.8 g/dL]) and malnutrition inflammation score (MIS) status (<6 vs ≥6), QRFT and QVIT of patients with worse nutritional status were significantly lower than those of well-nourished ESRD-HD patients (P value range: <0.001 to <0.05). Conclusion: Skeletal muscle ultrasound is a simple and easily applicable bedside technique in the dialysis units, and could represent an adequate tool for the identification of patients with reduced muscle mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1239
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemodialysis
  • Nutritional status evaluation
  • Protein energy wasting
  • Skeletal muscle mass
  • Ultrasound


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