Ultrasonography Method of Deep Cervical Muscles and Thickness Measurement Reliability in Cervicogenic Headache and Healthy Subjects: A Pilot Study
Introduction: In Cervicogenic Headache (CGH), motor control of muscles is impaired and deep upper neck muscles (extensor and flexor muscles) become atrophied. In this research, thickness measurement of Longus Capitis (LCap), Rectus Capitis Posterior Major (RCPM), and Obliquus Capitis Superior (OCS) muscles were conducted and intra-rater reliability of the thickness measurement of these muscles was assessed in CGH and healthy subjects.
Materials and Methods: Twenty subjects, including 10 healthy subjects (19-32 years old) and 10 CGH patients (20-35 years old) participated in this study. LCap thickness was measured at the level of C3-C4 in the supine position and posterior muscles (RCPM and OCS) thickness at the C1-C2 level in the sitting position. All ultrasound images were captured by a linear probe with a 50-mm footprint in B mode option and frequency range of 9-12 Hz. Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC), Standard Error Of Measurement (SEM), and the Smallest Detectable Difference (SDD) were calculated for data analysis.
Results: The ICC for thickness measurement of LCap was from 0.70 to 0.91 (good to excellent), for RCPM thickness was from 0.69 to 0.94 and for OCS muscle thickness was from 0.87 to 0.98. SEM values for LCap were between 0.08 and 0.25 and the SDD values between 0.22 and 0.71. SEM values for RCPM were between 0.22 and 0.43 and these values were reported for OCS muscle between 0.19 and 0.45.
Conclusion: The results indicated that the presented position and the level of ultrasonography in this study are appropriate and ultrasound is a reliable tool to measure the deep upper neck muscle thickness in CGH and healthy subjects.
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