An investigation into an objective measure of muscle health: can electrical impedance myography measurements inform clinical decision making?

  • Stephanie Wentworth

Student thesis: Unknown


Assessment of muscle health is important in many areas of health. The ability to objectively measure muscle health would provide scientific support for clinical decisions, for example in neurology when needing to differentiate between weakness and poor endurance. This work examines current measurement techniques and explores their objectivity and practicality in clinical and community settings. Active methods of measuring muscle health require the patient to activate or contract their muscles. Passive methods have the advantage of being applicable to a wider range of patients. Electrical impedance myography (EIM) was identified as an objective measurement technique that has the potential to inform muscle health in both the clinical and community setting. Healthy volunteers were recruited into a single study group. The impedance of upper right limb, biceps brachii muscle, was measured when relaxed, and when activated using a multiple frequency bioimpedance meter (ImpediMed IMPTM SFB7). Measurements of resistance and reactance enabled calculation of the impedance and phase angle. Results and the literature indicate that EIM is easy to use and it was demonstrated to be an objective measurement technique. Paired t-test, t = 4.56, p ≤ 0.01 indicated a significant difference in impedance between active and passive muscle in the small group (n=25) measured and a positive trend of age and increasing impedance was seen, Pearson correlation r = 0.60. A negative trend between age and phase angle was also observed, Pearson correlation r = -0.68. Trends in EIM measurements indicate a possible application to measurement of muscle degradation. A larger clinical trial of healthy volunteers would help consolidate the findings presented here.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAzzam Taktak (Supervisor)


  • muscle health
  • muscle testing
  • muscle impedance
  • ImpediMed
  • electrical impedance myography
  • Bioimpedance

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