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Physiological cross-sectional area

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In muscle physiology, physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) is the area of the cross section of a muscle perpendicular to its fibers, generally at its largest point. It is typically used to describe the contraction properties of pennate muscles. It is not the same as the anatomical cross-sectional area (ACSA), which is the area of the crossection of a muscle perpendicular to its longitudinal axis. In a non-pennate muscle the fibers are parallel to the longitudinal axis, and therefore PCSA and ACSA coincide.