Sample size considerations in human muscle architecture studies

Tuttle LJ, Ward SR, Lieber RL.
Muscle Nerve, 2012 45(5):742-5.


INTRODUCTION: This report is a meta-analysis of the human muscle architecture literature that analyzes the number of muscles, number of subjects, and muscle fiber length coefficient of variation (CV) by body region.
METHODS: Muscle fiber length data are used to make recommendations for dissection-based architectural study sample sizes.
RESULTS: An average of 9 ± 10 (mean ± SD) muscles and an average of 9 ± 5 subjects were reported in the 26 studies considered. Across all studies, average fiber length CV was highly variable (18% ± 5%). This shows that sample sizes required to achieve adequate power varies by anatomical region.
CONCLUSIONS: Studies involving muscle architecture should consider regional variability and effect size and determine sample size accordingly.

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