Author(s): McCall GE, Byrnes WC, Dickinson AL, Fleck SJ
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Abstract This study aimed to determine the skeletal muscle fiber sample size required for a reliable, valid representation of an individual's average fiber area and capillary contacts (CC) per fiber. Biopsies were obtained from the biceps brachii of 11 college-age, recreational resistance-trained men in conjunction with a study investigating how muscle morphology changed after 12 weeks of resistance training. The effect of additional measurements on the rolling cumulative means for fiber area and CC per fiber was evaluated using sequential estimation analysis. Results showed that group cumulative mean and standard deviation had stabilized by 50 fiber measurements per individual for type I and II fibers and CC per fiber. Significant correlations (.96-.99; p < .05) existed between the 50th and 95th/100th cumulative individual means. These results indicate that a typical skeletal muscle needle biopsy would be sufficient to characterize type I and II fiber areas and CC per fiber of an individual in most subject populations, although the required sample size for characterizing fiber subtypes might be different.
This article was published in Can J Appl Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies