Article: article from journal or magazin.
Viscoelasticity in Achilles Tendonopathy: Quantitative Assessment by Using Real-time Shear-Wave Elastography.
Publication types: JOURNAL ARTICLE
Purpose To investigate the differences in viscoelastic properties between normal and pathologic Achilles tendons ( AT Achilles tendon s) by using real-time shear-wave elastography ( SWE shear-wave elastography ). Materials and Methods The institutional review board approved this study, and written informed consent was obtained from 25 symptomatic patients and 80 volunteers. One hundred eighty ultrasonographic (US) and SWE shear-wave elastography studies of AT Achilles tendon s without tendonopathy and 30 studies of the middle portion of the AT Achilles tendon in patients with tendonopathy were assessed prospectively. Each study included data sets acquired at B-mode US (tendon morphology and cross-sectional area) and SWE shear-wave elastography (axial and sagittal mean velocity and relative anisotropic coefficient) for two passively mobilized ankle positions. The presence of AT Achilles tendon tears at B-mode US and signal-void areas at SWE shear-wave elastography were noted. Results Significantly lower mean velocity was shown in tendons with tendonopathy than in normal tendons in the relaxed position at axial SWE shear-wave elastography (P < .001) and in the stretched position at sagittal (P < .001) and axial (P = .0026) SWE shear-wave elastography . Tendon softening was a sign of tendonopathy in relaxed AT Achilles tendon s when the mean velocity was less than or equal to 4.06 m · sec(-1) at axial SWE shear-wave elastography (sensitivity, 54.2%; 95% confidence interval [ CI confidence interval ]: 32.8, 74.4; specificity, 91.5%; 95% CI confidence interval : 86.3, 95.1) and less than or equal to 5.70 m · sec(-1) at sagittal SWE shear-wave elastography (sensitivity, 41.7%; 95% CI confidence interval : 22.1, 63.3; specificity, 81.8%; 95% CI confidence interval : 75.3, 87.2) and in stretched AT Achilles tendon s, when the mean velocity was less than or equal to 4.86 m · sec(-1) at axial SWE shear-wave elastography (sensitivity, 66.7%; 95% CI confidence interval : 44.7, 84.3; specificity, 75.6%; 95% CI confidence interval : 68.5, 81.7) and less than or equal to 14.58 m · sec(-1) at sagittal SWE shear-wave elastography (sensitivity, 58.3%; 95% CI confidence interval : 36.7, 77.9; specificity, 83.5%; 95% CI confidence interval : 77.2, 88.7). Anisotropic results were not significantly different between normal and pathologic AT Achilles tendon s. Six of six (100%) partial-thickness tears appeared as signal-void areas at SWE shear-wave elastography . Conclusion Whether the AT Achilles tendon was relaxed or stretched, SWE shear-wave elastography helped to confirm and quantify pathologic tendon softening in patients with tendonopathy in the midportion of the AT Achilles tendon and did not reveal modifications of viscoelastic anisotropy in the tendon. Tendon softening assessed by using SWE shear-wave elastography appeared to be highly specific, but sensitivity was relatively low. © RSNA, 2014.
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