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A Hybrid Method for Ultrasound-Based Tracking of Skeletal Muscle Architecture

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posted on 2022-10-12, 13:33 authored by Jasper Verheul, Sang-Hoon YeoSang-Hoon Yeo

 Objective: Tracking skeletal muscle architecture using B-mode ultrasound is a widely used method in the field of human movement science and biomechanics. Sequential methods based on optical flow algorithms allow for smooth and coherent muscle tracking but are known to drift over time. Non-sequential feature detection methods on the other hand, do not suffer from drift, but are limited to tracking only lower-dimensional features. They are also known to be sensitive to image noise, and therefore often result in highly irregular tracking patterns. Building on the complimentary nature of both approaches, we present a novel automated hybrid muscle tracking approach that combines a sequential feature-point tracking method and a non-sequential method based on Hough transform. Methods : Tibialis anterior fascicle pennation angle and length, and central aponeurosis displacement, were measured in five healthy individuals during isometric contractions at five different ankle angles. Results : Our hybrid method was demonstrated to significantly (p < 0.001) reduce drift compared to two sequential methods, and curve irregularity was significantly (p < 0.001) decreased compared to a non-sequential method. Conclusion : These findings suggest that the proposed hybrid approach can uniquely mitigate drift and irregularity limitation of individual methods used for tracking skeletal muscle architecture. Significance : Automated muscle tracking allows for convenient analysis of large datasets, whereas automatic drift correction opens the door for tracking muscle architecture in long ultrasound recordings during common movements, such as walking, running, and jumping without the need for manual intervention. 


This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council under project reference number BB/S003762/1.


Published in

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering




  • VoR (Version of Record)


Verheul, J. and Yeo, S.H. (2022) 'A Hybrid Method for Ultrasound-Based Tracking of Skeletal Muscle Architecture', IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2022.3210724

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Jasper Verheul

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sports Performance Analysis

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  • © The Authors


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