Evaluation of the effect of trunk tilt on compressive soft tissue deformations under the ischial tuberosities using weight-bearing MRI

Nogah Shabshin, Vlad Ougortsin, Gil Zoizner, Amit Gefen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Deep tissue injury is the new acceptable term for deep pressure ulcers. Deep tissue injury of the buttocks is typically caused by sustained soft tissue deformations under the ischial tuberosities. Wheelchair users are at high risk, and although usually laterally tilted, the effect of tilts on tissue deformations is unknown. This has brought us to investigate buttocks tissue compressive deformations between the ischial tuberosities and skin during sitting in various body tilts, utilizing weight-bearing Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods: Ten healthy volunteers underwent sitting MRI, in six postures including neutral with/without weight-bearing, 10° and 20° lateral-tilts, and 20° and 40° anterior tilts. Studies utilized a coronal T1-weighted sequence. Images were evaluated for thickness of tissues between the skin and the lowest point of the ischial tuberosity, of fat between the skin and the gluteus muscle and of muscle between the ischial tuberosity and fat. Measurements in weight-bearing positions were compared to the non-weight-bearing for calculation of compressive tissue deformations in each trunk tilt. Statistical analysis was obtained utilizing multiple pairwise t-tests with Bonferroni corrections. Findings: Muscle and soft tissue compressive deformations, from highest to lowest, were 20°-lateral-tilt (87%, 72%), lateral-10° (85%, 70%), anterior-20° (79%, 67%), anterior-40° (74%, 64%), and neutral (72%, 59%). For the fat, highest was anterior-tilts (42%), followed by lateral-20°-tilt (41%), lateral-10° (39%) and neutral (35%). Interpretation: For lateral tilts, the higher the angle was, the higher the compressive deformation was. However, the most profound change in compressive deformation occurred at the small angle tilts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-408
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Bedsores
  • Deep tissue injury
  • Open MRI
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Rehabilitation


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