JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of therapeutic ultrasound on the regeneration of skeletal myofibers after experimental muscle injury

J Rantanen, O Thorsson, P Wollmer, T Hurme, H Kalimo
American Journal of Sports Medicine 1999, 27 (1): 54-9
9934419
Therapeutic ultrasound is used by many in the treatment of muscle injuries, but no previous attempts to objectively assess its effects on regenerating skeletal myofibers have been published. In this descriptive study, we followed the regeneration of contusion injury to the rat gastrocnemius muscle during treatment with pulsed ultrasound. The speed of myoregeneration in ultrasound-treated animals was compared with that in control animals by immunohistochemical, morphometric, and scintigraphic analyses. Although satellite cell proliferation was enhanced significantly (up to 96%) by the ultrasound treatment during the early stages of regeneration, there was no such effect on myotube production. The period of rapid fibroblast proliferation was extended from 3 to 4 days in the control group to 7 to 10 days in the ultrasound therapy groups, whereas recapillarization was virtually unaffected. We conclude that although treatment with pulsed ultrasound can promote the satellite cell proliferation phase of the myoregeneration, it does not seem to have significant effects on the overall morphological manifestations of muscle regeneration.

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