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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Quantification of the Masseter Muscle Hardness of Stroke Patients Using the MyotonPRO Apparatus: Intra- and Inter-Rater Reliability and Its Correlation with Masticatory Performance

Chao Song, Yi-Fu Yu, Wen-Long Ding, Jian-Yong Yu, Li Song, Ya-Nan Feng, Zhi-Jie Zhang

Department of Rehabilitation Therapy, Zhengzhou Central Hospital Affiliated to Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e928109

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.928109

Available online: 2020-11-27

Published: 2021-01-30


BACKGROUND: Chewing dysfunction is one of the most common serious complications after a stroke. It may be influenced by the hardness of the masseter muscle and masticatory performance; however, the association between these 2 factors is not explicit. Thus, it is meaningful to explore the functional status of the masseter muscle among stroke patients.
The main objectives of this study were to examine the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the MyotonPRO apparatus in measuring masseter muscle hardness in stroke patients and to investigate the correlation between the bilateral masseter muscle hardness and masticatory performance in these patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 20 stroke patients participated in our study. The hardness of the masseter muscle was measured by 2 physiotherapists using the MyotonPRO apparatus. Overall, each patient masticated 2 pieces of red-blue bicolor chewing gum for 20 chewing cycles each. The chewing pieces were analyzed using ViewGum software for masticatory performance.
RESULTS: The intra- and inter-rater reliability of the MyotonPRO apparatus for measuring bilateral masseter hardness of stroke patients was excellent. The correlation analysis showed that the hardness index of the masseter muscle on the affected side was moderately correlated with the masticatory performance of the same side.
CONCLUSIONS: The MyotonPRO device can be used for measuring the masseter muscle hardness of stroke patients, with excellent reliability. This study established the construct validity between the stiffness of the masseter muscle and masticatory performance.

Keywords: Hardness, Masseter Muscle, Reproducibility of Results, Stroke