Diagnostic Value of Muscle Ultrasound for Myopathies and Myositis

Jemima Albayda, Nens van Alfen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to critically discuss the use of ultrasound in the evaluation of muscle disorders with a particular focus on the emerging use in inflammatory myopathies. Recent Findings: In myopathies, pathologic muscle shows an increase in echogenicity. Muscle echogenicity can be assessed visually, semi-quantitatively, or quantitatively using grayscale analysis. The involvement of specific muscle groups and the pattern of increase in echogenicity can further point to specific diseases. In pediatric neuromuscular disorders, the value of muscle ultrasound for screening and diagnosis is well-established. It has also been found to be a responsive measure of disease change in muscular dystrophies. In chronic forms of myositis like inclusion body myositis, ultrasound is very suitable for detecting markedly increased echogenicity and atrophy in affected muscles. Acute cases of muscle edema show only a mild increase in echogenicity, which can also reverse with successful treatment. Summary: Muscle ultrasound is an important imaging modality that is highly adaptable to study various muscle conditions. Although its diagnostic value for neuromuscular disorders is high, the evidence in myositis has only begun to accrue in earnest. Further systematic studies are needed, especially in its role for detecting muscle edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Diagnostic test
  • Muscle echogenicity
  • Muscle ultrasound
  • Myopathies
  • Myositis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic Value of Muscle Ultrasound for Myopathies and Myositis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this