Three-dimensional mapping of shear wave velocity in human tendon: A proof of concept study
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Ultrasound-based shear wave elastography (SWE) provides the means to quantify tissue mechanical properties in vivo and has proven valuable in detecting degenerative processes in tendons. Its current mode of use is for two-dimensional rendering measurements, which are highly positiondependent. We therefore propose an approach to create a volumetric reconstruction of the mechanoacoustic properties of a structure of interest based on optically tracking the ultrasound probe during free-hand measurement sweeps. In the current work, we aimed (1) to assess the technical feasibility of the three-dimensional mapping of unidirectional shear wave velocity (SWV), (2) to evaluate the possible artefacts associated with hand-held image acquisition, (3) to investigate the reproducibility of the proposed technique, and (4) to study the potential of this method in detecting local adaptations in a longitudinal study setting. Operative and technical feasibility as well as potential artefacts associated with hand-held image acquisition were studied on a synthetic phantom containing discrete targets of known mechanical properties. Measurement reproducibility was assessed based on inter-day and inter-reader scans of the patellar, Achilles, and supraspinatus tendon of ten healthy volunteers and was compared to traditional two-dimensional image acquisition. The potential of this method in detecting local adaptations was studied by testing the effect of short-term voluntary isometric loading history on SWV along the tendon long axis. The suggested approach was technically feasible and reproducible, with a moderate to very good reliability and a standard error of measurement in the range of 0.300–0.591 m/s for the three assessed tendons at the two test-retest modalities. We found a consistent variation in SWV along the longitudinal axis of each tendon, and isometric loading resulted in regional increases in SWV in the patellar and Achilles tendons. The proposed method outperforms traditional two-dimensional measurement with regards to reproducibility and may prove valuable in the objective assessment of pathological tendon changes. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Show more
Journal / seriesSensors
Pages / Article No.
Subjectimaging; biomechanics; ultrasound; shear wave elastography; stereophotogrammetry; tendon; tendinopathy; validation study; reproducibility of results
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