RSNA 2022 Ultrasound Preview

Elastography helps measure tissue stiffness in tendinopathy patients

By Amerigo Allegretto, staff writer

November 21, 2022 --

Wednesday, November 30 | 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | W3-SSMK08-1 | E451A
This session will discuss findings from a pilot study showing that using elastography shear-wave imaging to evaluate Achilles tendon stiffness could be good for research on tendon remodeling, healing, and return to activity.

Scott Crawford, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will show his team's results, which compared regional shear-wave speed between symptomatic and contralateral tendons in patients with chronic mid-substance Achilles tendinopathy.

The team evaluated a total of 20 patients with an average of 56.3 years and an average body mass index (BMI) of 27.4. The patients had unilateral mid-substance Achilles tendon pain for over six months and a pain score greater than five on the visual analog scale. They also underwent failed conservative treatments and had no steroid injections within six weeks, as well as no history of surgery or systemic disease.

The researchers found significant differences in shear-wave speed in the free tendon between the contralateral and symptomatic limb, 0.56 m/s (p = 0.03). However, they also found no differences between limbs in either the soleus aponeurosis at 0.04 m/s (p = 0.13) or gastrocnemius aponeurosis at -0.27 m/s (p = 0.99).

Crawford et al wrote that these results suggest that stiffness changes were localized to the free tendon only. See what else the team found in this presentation.

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