Effect of knee alignment on the quadriceps femoris muscularity: Cross-sectional comparison of trained versus untrained individuals in both sexes

Ryoichi Ema, Taku Wakahara, Kuniaki Hirayama, Yasuo Kawakami

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Knee alignment is suggested to be a factor affecting each quadriceps femoris muscle size, and knee alignment such as Q-angle differs between men and women. Also, training can induce inhomogeneous hypertrophy among the quadriceps femoris, thereby leading to different component characteristics of the muscles. If Q-angle is a major determinant of the quadriceps femoris muscularity, it is hypothesized that the sex-related difference in the quadriceps femoris muscularity, if any, is further highlighted in trained individuals, being associated with Q-angle. We tested this hypothesis. Magnetic resonance images of the right thigh were obtained from 26 varsity rowers as trained subjects (13 for each sex) and 34 untrained individuals as controls (17 for each sex). From the images, muscle volume of each constituent of the quadriceps femoris (vastus lateralis, VL; medialis, VM; intermedius; rectus femoris) was determined. The Q-angle was measured during quiet bilateral standing with hand support as needed. Percent volume of VM to the total quadriceps femoris was greater in female rowers than male rowers and female controls, and that of VL was greater in male rowers than male controls. There were no correlations between Q-angle and percent muscle volume in any muscles regardless of rowing experience or sex. The current study revealed that well-trained rowers have sex-related quadriceps femoris muscularity but no significant correlations between percent muscle volume in any muscles and Q-angle. Our findings suggest that Q-angle is not a major determinant of the quadriceps femoris muscularity in either well-trained or untrained individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0183148
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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