Assessment rate of true dorsogluteal intramuscular drug injection using ultrasonography

Intramuscular Injections: Truly Intramuscular

  • Ozkan Ozen Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University,Faculty of Medicine
  • Mucahit Gunaydın
  • Alptekin Tosun
  • Zafer Unsal Coskun
  • Kursad Aytekin
  • Selcuk Takir
Keywords: Intramuscular drug injection, Subcutaneous adipose tissue, Ultrasonography


Objective: Medications are generally administered by either the enteric or parenteral route. With parenteral administration, intramuscular (IM) is the preferred approach because it increases the bioavailability of the drug, acts more quickly than the enteric route. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of true dorsogluteal intramuscular drug injection and to determine the causes for application failures in practice by ultrasonography (US).

Methods: The study was conducted from May 1 to May 30, 2017 in Giresun University Education and Research Hospital, Giresun, Turkey. We examined 60 patients who were administered dorsogluteal IM injection with a 38.1mm length needle. After the injection, localization of medications (whether intramuscular or subcutaneous adipose tissue [SAT]) was evaluated by Ultrasound.

Results: Female/male ratio of the patients was 27/33, with a mean age of 39.78±2.16 years. Obese/normal weight ratio was 20/40. The mean dorsogluteal area SAT thickness of obese and normal weight patients were 32.34±2.17 mm and 20.85±1.20 mm, respectively. In 23 of the patients, IM injected drug was observed in the SAT, while it was observed in the IM area in 37 patients. Medication was observed in IM area in 37 of 50 patients who dorsogluteal region SAT thickness was appropriate (SAT thickness lower than 33.1mm) for IM injection while it was seen in SAT area in 13 patients.

Conclusions: SAT thickness values are important if IM drug injection is to be administered correctly. Unsuccessful IM injections may be seen even in patients with appropriate SAT thicknesses.


How to cite this:
Ozen O, Gunaydin M, Tosun A, Coskun ZU, Aytekin K, Takir S. Assessment rate of true dorsogluteal intramuscular drug injection using ultrasonography. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(4):1132-1137. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Ozen, O., Gunaydın, M., Tosun, A., Coskun, Z., Aytekin, K., & Takir, S. (2019). Assessment rate of true dorsogluteal intramuscular drug injection using ultrasonography. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 35(4).
Original Articles