Estimation of muscle mass
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Estimation of Muscle Mass. Methods for the assessment of human body composition emphasize the estimation of body fat with limited availability of approaches and techniques to assess muscle mass. Estimation of Muscle Mass. Muscles: Cardiac Smooth Skeletal

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Estimation of Muscle Mass

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Estimation of muscle mass

Estimation of Muscle Mass

  • Methods for the assessment of human body composition emphasize the estimation of body fat with limited availability of approaches and techniques to assess muscle mass.

Estimation of muscle mass1

Estimation of Muscle Mass


  • Cardiac

  • Smooth

  • Skeletal

    • Represents 30% of body weight in female and 40% in male.

Estimation of muscle mass2

Estimation of Muscle Mass


  • Monitor changes in relation to growth and development in infants and children

  • Estimate muscle mass and relate it to aerobic, anaerobic, and physical training on performance.

  • Evaluate the progression of catabolic disease and possible intervention.

Anthropometric indicators

Anthropometric Indicators

  • A site-specific physical measurement will reflect the mass of that muscle, and the mass of the estimated muscle group is directly proportional to the whole-body skeletal muscle mass.

Estimation of regional muscle mass

Estimation of Regional Muscle Mass

  • The common variables for the upper arm include arm circumference corrected for subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness, and muscle cross-sectional area estimated from the corrected circumference.

Estimation of regional muscle mass1

Estimation of Regional Muscle Mass


  • In adult body weights ranging from 60 to 120% of ideal body weights, predictive error was 7-8%.

  • In adult body weights above 150% of ideal body weight, predictive error was >50%.

  • Gender specific equation have been derived to account for errors.

Muscle metabolites

Muscle Metabolites

  • Two metabolites specific to skeletal muscles include:

    • Creatinine.

    • 3-Methylhistidine



  • The precursor of creatine found in the liver and kidney.

  • Related to FFM and skeletal muscle mass.

  • One gram of creatinine excreted was = 18 kg - 20 kg of muscle mass.




  • There is a large individual variability in daily creatinine excretion because of dietary intake.

  • Other factors that may invalidate the results include age, gender, maturity, physical training, and metabolic state.

3 methylhistidine


  • 3-Methylhistidine (3-MH) is an amino acid that has been suggested as a measure of muscle protein breakdown.The concentration of 3-MH in human muscle is relatively constant between the ages of 4 to 65, but decreases with urinary excretion.

Estimation of muscle mass


  • Therefore it is reasonable to suggest that the reduction in 3-MH output might reflect a decreased muscle mass with age.

Estimation of muscle mass


  • The use of 3-MH as a marker of muscle mass has been criticized because of the potential influence of non-skeletal protein turnover on its excretion rate.

  • The general use of urinary 3-MH excretion may be reasonable in conditions of physical trauma in which accelerated rates of protein degradation occur, especially in skeletal muscle.

Limitation to the use of metabolites

Limitation to the use of Metabolites

  • Although creatinine and 3-MH arise primarily from muscle, their relationship to skeletal muscle mass needs further examination with respect to factors that affect their pool sizes and turnover rates.

Radiographic methods

Radiographic Methods

  • Several radiographic methods have been used to estimate muscle mass:

  • Computed tomography.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging.

  • Dual X-ray Absorptiometry.

Limitations of ct

Limitations of CT

  • Cost per study limits the percentage of healthy people that can be studied.

  • Exposure to radiation.

  • Validity studies have yet to be completed.

Limitations of mri

Limitations of MRI

  • Time: 45 minutes for whole-body test.

  • Validity studies have yet to be completed.

Limitations of dexa

Limitations of DEXA

  • Cost

  • Radiation exposure.

  • DEXA cannot distinguish between intra- and extra-cellular fluid.

  • Ingestion of fluid and/or regional accumulation of water and salts will change the readings.

Estimation of muscle mass


  • BIA is another approach for assessing the regional muscle mass.

Estimation of muscle mass


  • The areas of adipose tissue and muscle in the upper arm for CT are related to those estimated by BIA.

Estimation of muscle mass


  • The type of electrodes and their placements have not been defined in reference to minimizing the error of this technique.



  • Techniques with the best precision cost more.

  • Selection of a method may depend on the resources available and the purpose of the test.



  • The various components found in muscle (water, protein, nerve, vascular tissue, etc) make it difficult to measure accurately

Alter metabolism

Alter Metabolism?

  • Many people believe that since muscle burns more calories than fat, building muscle by weight lifting will noticeably increase the body’s metabolism.

  • This response is greatly exaggerated.



  • Weight lifting has virtually no effect on resting metabolism.

  • Any added muscle is minuscule compared with the total amount of skeletal muscle in the body.



  • And, muscle actually has a very low metabolic rate when it is at rest, which is most of the time.



  • Skeletal muscle burns about 13 kcals per kg of body weight over 24 hours when a person is at rest.

  • A typical man who weighs 70 kg (154 lbs), has about 28 kgs of skeletal muscle.



  • His muscles, when at rest, burn about 22% of the calories his body uses.

  • The brain and the liver use about the same number of calories.



  • If the man lifts weights and gains 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of muscle, his metabolic rate would increase by 24 kcals per day.



  • The average amount of muscle that men gain after lifting weights for 12 weeks is 2 kg.

  • Women will gain less.

Body weight

Body Weight

  • A corollary to this hypothesis is that by adding muscle you can noticeably change you body weight.

  • The idea is that when you do resistance training you may actually be thinner yet weigh the same or a little more, because muscle is heavier than fat.

Body weight1

Body Weight

  • That holds a grain of truth, because muscle is more dense than fat.

  • The problem is that few people put on enough muscle in proportion to their total body mass to make a noticeable difference in their weight.

Body weight2

Body Weight

  • The idea that you will weigh the same or more, but you really are thinner may be true if you work hard at weight lifting for many months, otherwise, it is another myth.

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