Muscle morphology of the lower leg in ambulant children with spastic cerebral palsy

Christian A. Pitcher, Catherine M. Elliott, Jane P. Valentine, Katherine Stannage, Sian A. Williams, Peter J. Shipman, Siobhán L. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In this study we aimed to determine the lower limb morphological characteristics of skeletal muscle of ambulant children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and typically developing (TD) children. Methods: Seventeen children with spastic diplegic CP (10 boys and 7 girls, 5–12 years of age, Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level I or II) and 19 TD children (8 boys and 11 girls, 5–11 years of age) underwent lower limb T1-weighted MRI. Morphological characteristics of the triceps surae, including muscle volume, anatomical cross-sectional area, muscle length, and subcutaneous adipose tissue, were digitally quantified, and the proportional distribution calculated. Results: Children with GMFCS II had significantly reduced muscle volume, cross-sectional area, and muscle length, and increased subcutaneous fat compared with TD children. Children classified as GMFCS II consistently exhibited the greatest deficits in all morphology variables. Discussion: Morphological variables were significantly different between the groups. These alterations have the potential to influence the functional capabilities of the triceps surae muscle group. Muscle Nerve 58:818–823, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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