Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the differences between abdominal wall muscles echo intensity (EI) in PD patients and healthy controls. Methods: Forty-three consecutive PD patients (25 males and 18 females, age 73.7 ± 7.1, and 42 controls without neurological diseases (22 males, 20 females, age 69.8 ± 6.0) participated in this cross-sectional study. The clinical assessment included the following: IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), Hoehn Yahr score, plumb line distance from the spinous process of C7, kyphosis apex, and spinous process of L3 and S1. A real-time ultrasound B-scanner (system MyLab40 by Esaote, Genoa, Italy) was used to obtain muscle images of the right and left biceps brachii (BB), external (EO), and internal oblique (IO) and rectus abdomen (RA). Heckmatt scale and measure of EI through ImageJ software were used to assess muscle quality. Results: When considering the Heckmatt score, the RA and BB did not significantly differ between PD and control patients, while there was a significant difference for right (p < 0.01) and left (p = 0.02) IO muscles. There was no difference among EI values of the RA, IO, and BB between PD and control patients. Conclusions: Echo intensity of abdominal wall muscles (rectus abdominis, internal oblique) and biceps brachii did not differ between Parkinsonian patients and healthy subjects. We did not found ultrasound useful in disease evolution assessment or in early diagnosis of postural disorders.
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