Use of Weight-Bearing MRI for Evaluating Wheelchair Cushions Based on Internal Soft-Tissue Deformations Under Ischial TuberositiesBy Shabshin, Nogah; Zoizner, Gil; Herman, Amir; Ougortsin, Vlad; Gefen, Amit; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 31-42
Publication Date: 2010
Study evaluated a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based method for measuring the effects of wheelchair cushions on internal tissue deformations during weight bearing. Study participants, seven men and three women without disabilities and with a mean age of 33 years, were scanned using weight bearing MRI. Muscle, superficial fat, and effective (muscle and fat together) tissue deformations were compared while participants sat on four standard commercial cushions, of which two were viscoelastic and two foam, and directly on a rigid support. Deformations were maximal, at about 70 percent, in muscle tissue, twice more the amount than in fat. Effective soft tissue deformations were about 50 to 60 percent. Although cushions mildly reduced muscle deformations in the order of 10 percent, according to researchers’ calculations presented, this deformation level may add safe sitting time to prevent the formation of sitting acquired pressure ulcers. Based on study results, the authors conclude that weight bearing MRI is applicable for evaluating wheelchair cushions and may become a tool to systematically support cushion design and selection. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )
Link to text: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/10/471/shabshin.html