Sex-specific prediction of neck muscle volumes

Zheng L., Siegmund G., Ozyigit G., Vasavada A.

JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS, vol.46, no.5, pp.899-904, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.12.018
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.899-904


Biomechanical analyses of the head and neck system require knowledge of neck muscle forces, which are often estimated from neck muscle volumes. Here we use magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of 17 subjects (6 females, 11 males) to develop a method to predict the volumes of 16 neck muscles by first predicting the total neck muscle volume (TMV) from subject sex and anthropometry, and then predicting individual neck muscle volumes using fixed volume proportions for each neck muscle. We hypothesized that the regression equations for total muscle volume as well as individual muscle volume proportions would be sex specific. We found that females have 59% lower TMV compared to males (females: 510 +/- 43 cm(3), males: 814 +/- 64 cm(3); p < 0.0001) and that TMV (in cm(3)) was best predicted by a regression equation that included sex (male = 0, female = 1) and neck circumference (NC, in cm): TMV = 269 + 13.7NC - 233Sex (adjusted R-2=0.868; p < 0.01). Individual muscle volume proportions were not sex specific for most neck muscles, although small sex differences existed for three neck muscles (obliqus capitis inferior, longus capitis, and stemocleidomastoid). When predicting individual muscle volumes in subjects not used to develop the model, coefficients of concordance ranged from 0.91 to 0.99. This method of predicting individual neck muscle volumes has the advantage of using only one sex-specific regression equation and one set of sex-specific volume proportions. These data can be used in biomechanical models to estimate muscle forces and tissue loads in the cervical spine. Published by Elsevier Ltd.