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Morphological Medial Gastrocnemius Muscle Growth in Ambulant Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Only cross-sectional studies have demonstrated muscle deficits in children with spastic cerebral palsy (SCP). The impact of gross motor functional limitations on altered muscle growth remains unclear. This prospective longitudinal study modelled morphological muscle growth in 87 children with SCP (age range 6 months to 11 years, Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level I/II/III = 47/22/18). Ultrasound assessments were performed during 2-year follow-up and repeated for a minimal interval of 6 months. Three-dimensional freehand ultrasound was applied to assess medial gastrocnemius muscle volume (MV), mid-belly cross-sectional area (CSA) and muscle belly length (ML). Non-linear mixed models compared trajectories of (normalized) muscle growth between GMFCS-I and GMFCS-II&III. MV and CSA growth trajectories showed a piecewise model with two breakpoints, with the highest growth before 2 years and negative growth rates after 6-9 years. Before 2 years, children with GMFCS-II&III already showed lower growth rates compared to GMFCS-I. From 2 to 9 years, the growth rates did not differ between GMFCS levels. After 9 years, a more pronounced reduction in normalized CSA was observed in GMFCS-II&III. Different trajectories in ML growth were shown between the GMFCS level subgroups. These longitudinal trajectories highlight monitoring of SCP muscle pathology from early ages and related to motor mobility. Treatment planning and goals should stimulate muscle growth.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Clinical Medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
Issue: 4
Volume: 12
Jaar van publicatie:2023