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Original Article

Anat Cell Biol 2022; 55(1): 48-54

Published online March 31, 2022


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Evaluating the effectiveness of gluteal intramuscular injection sites: a cadaveric study

Yi-Suk Kim1 , Yong Seok Nam1,2 , Deog-Im Kim3

1Department of Anatomy, Catholic Institute for Applied Anatomy and College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, 2Department of Anatomy, College of Korean Medicine, Dongshin University, Naju, 3Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea

Correspondence to:Deog-Im Kim
Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu 42601, Korea
E-mail: deogimk@kmu.ac.kr

Received: November 7, 2021; Revised: November 24, 2021; Accepted: November 26, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The gluteal region is a frequent target for injecting high volumes. However, the safe intramuscular injection sites have been controversy in this region. This study was aimed to compare the subcutaneous fat and muscle thicknesses at the two gluteal injection sites and to determine the influence of sex and body mass index (BMI) on fat and muscle thicknesses. The ultimate purpose of this study is to suggest the most suitable intramuscular injection site among the ventrogluteal and dorsogluteal regions. Eleven fresh cadavers were injected with colored gelatin using syringes at the two gluteal injection sites. Seven variables were measured at both gluteal injection sites and analyzed relative to sex and the BMI. No variables showed statistically significant differences between the two gluteal injection sites according to sex. In a one-way analysis of variance, total length and muscle thickness had significant difference according to the BMI category. In obese cadavers, the injected gelatin core was located in the subcutaneous layer (average 109.0 percentile), and in the muscle layer (average 78.9 percentile) in the dorsogluteal region. These were found that the success rate of injection in the dorsogluteal region was higher than in the ventrogluteal region, especially when classed as obese. Also, it is suggested that nurses should use the traditional intramuscular injection method. It will also be necessary to consider expanding these findings to other ethnic groups in the Asia–Pacific region and then also education in universities and health providers on selecting the intramuscular gluteal injection site.

Keywords: Intramuscular injections, Body mass index, Dorsogluteal, Ventrogluteal

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