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Journal Review: Muscle ultrasound: Present state and future opportunities
Journal Review: Muscle ultrasound: Present state and future opportunities

Muscle ultrasound is a valuable addition to the neuromuscular toolkit in both the clinic and research settings, with proven value and reliability. However, it is currently not fulfilling its full potential in the diagnostic care of patients with neuromuscular disease. This review highlights the possibilities and pitfalls of muscle ultrasound as a diagnostic tool and biomarker, and discusses challenges to its widespread implemen-tation. We expect that limitations in visual image interpretation, posed by user inex-perience, could be overcome with simpler scoring systems and the help of deep-learning algorithms. In addition, more information should be collected on the relation between specific neuromuscular disorders, disease stages, and expected ultrasound abnormalities, as this will enhance specificity of the technique and enable the use of muscle ultrasound as a biomarker. Quantified muscle ultrasound gives the most sen-sitive results but is hampered by the need for device-specific reference values. Efforts in creating dedicated muscle ultrasound systems and artificial intelligence to help with image interpretation are expected to improve usability. Finally, the standard inclusion of muscle and nerve ultrasound in neuromuscular teaching curricula and guidelines will facilitate further implementation in practice. Our hope is that this review will help in unleashing muscle ultrasound's full potential.

The AANEM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The AANEM designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Credit expires 4/1/2024.

No one involved in the planning of this CME activity had any relevant financial relationships to disclose. Any conflicts have been resolved by the Journal in accordance with the Muscle & Nerve editorial process.

Juerd Wijntjes, MD; Nens van Alfen, MD, PhD.
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