Sample size considerations in human muscle architecture studies

Lori J. Tuttle, Samuel R. Ward, Richard L. Lieber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This report is a meta-analysis of the human muscle architecture literature that analyzes the number of muscles, number of subjects, and muscle fiber length coefficient of variation (CV) by body region. Methods: Muscle fiber length data are used to make recommendations for dissection-based architectural study sample sizes. Results: An average of 9 ± 10 (mean ± SD) muscles and an average of 9 ± 5 subjects were reported in the 26 studies considered. Across all studies, average fiber length CV was highly variable (18% ± 5%). This shows that sample sizes required to achieve adequate power varies by anatomical region. Conclusions: Studies involving muscle architecture should consider regional variability and effect size and determine sample size accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-745
Number of pages3
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Architecture
  • Fiber length variation
  • Muscle
  • Sample size
  • Statistical power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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