Myoglobin and troponin concentrations are increased in early stage deep tissue injury

W.A. Traa (Corresponding author), G.J. Strijkers, D.L. Bader, C.W.J. Oomens

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Pressure-induced deep tissue injury is a form of pressure ulcer which is difficult to detect and diagnose at an early stage, before the wound has severely progressed and becomes visible at the skin surface. At the present time, no such detection technique is available. To test the hypothesis that muscle damage biomarkers can be indicative of the development of deep tissue injury after sustained mechanical loading, an indentation test was performed for 2 h on the tibialis anterior muscle of rats. Myoglobin and troponin were analysed in blood plasma and urine over a period of 5 days. The damage as detected by the biomarkers was compared to damage as observed with T 2 MRI to validate the response. We found that myoglobin and troponin levels in blood increased due to the damage. Myoglobin was also increased in urine. The amount of damage observed with MRI immediately after loading had a strong correlation with the maximal biomarker levels: troponin in blood r s = 0.94; myoglobin in blood r s = 0.75; and myoglobin in urine r s = 0.57. This study suggests that muscle damage markers measured in blood and urine could serve as early diagnosis for pressure induced deep tissue injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Deep tissue injury
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Skeletal muscle damage


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