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Ultrasound Imaging and Sonoelastography for Measuring Mechanical Properties of Human Tissues

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomedical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2024) | Viewed by 10385

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Performance and Sport Rehabilitation Laboratory (DEPORSALUD), Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Carlos III s/n, 45071 Toledo, Spain
Interests: sport science; sport biomechanics; physical activity; caffeine; ergogenic aids; racquet sports; injury prevention; exercise performance; sonoelastography in sports injury diagnosis
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Guest Editor
Performance and Sports Rehabilitation Laboratory, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
Interests: Sports injury rehabilitation; MSK injury prevention; Ultrasound diagnosis; Ultrasound-guided treatments in MSK pathology; Therapeutic management of tendon injuries; Therapeutic management of muscle injuries; Application of sonoelastography in sports injury diagnosis; Usefulness of sonoelastography in the prevention of injuries

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Comillas Pontifical University, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: sport science; sport injury; injury prevention; athletic performance; physical activity; sonoelastography in sports; sonoelastography in the prevention of injuries.

Special Issue Information

For the last few decades, sonoelastography has been widely utilized as a diagnostic ultrasound technique that provides a noninvasive means of estimating soft tissue elasticity and stiffness. Currently, sonoelastography has become one of the key methods for measuring mechanical properties of tissues, such as elasticity of soft tissues. The main types of sonoelastography used in biology and medicine are compression elastography, shear-wave elastography, and transient elastography.
This Special Issue aims to bring together recent studies on sonoelastography and their applications in medicine and biology. We welcome original research contributions and reviews of state-of-the-art studies from academia and industry. The Special Issue topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Advanced sonoelatography techniques
  • Novel sonoelastography devices
  • Biomedical sonoelastography applications
  • Application of sonoelastography in sports injury diagnosis
  • Usefulness of sonoelastography in the prevention of injuries
  • Sonoelastography for the measurement of mechanical properties of tissues
  • Ultrasound imaging and sonoelastography
  • Other associate devices and applications

Prof. Dr. Javier Abián-Vicén
Dr. Fernando Jiménez
Dr. Pablo Abián
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Ultrasound imaging
  • multimodal imaging
  • elastography
  • stiffness
  • echography
  • ultrasound applications
  • musculoskeletal system

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 1853 KiB  
Article
The Applicability of Shear Wave Elastography to Assess Myotendinous Stiffness of Lower Limbs during an Incremental Isometric Strength Test
by Alfredo Bravo-Sánchez, Pablo Abián, Giacomo Lucenteforte, Fernando Jiménez and Javier Abián-Vicén
Sensors 2022, 22(20), 8033; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22208033 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
The aim of the study was to describe the applicability of shear wave elastography to assess muscular and tendinous stiffness of the lower limbs during an incremental isometric strength test and to differentiate the stiffness evolution between superficial and deep muscle regions. Dominant [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to describe the applicability of shear wave elastography to assess muscular and tendinous stiffness of the lower limbs during an incremental isometric strength test and to differentiate the stiffness evolution between superficial and deep muscle regions. Dominant rectus femoris and patellar tendons of 30 physically active people (28.3 ± 9.2 years, 173.2 ± 7.7 cm, 76.2 ± 12.6 kg) were measured in different isometric strength conditions (relaxed muscle, and at 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% and 60% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)). The percentage of success was >85% at all muscle contraction intensities for rectus femoris muscles but only in a relaxed condition for patellar tendons. Rectus femoris stiffness significantly increased compared to the relaxed condition from 30% to 60% MVC (p ≤ 0.011) in superficial muscle regions, and from 10% to 60% MVC (p ≤ 0.002) in deep muscle regions. Deep muscle regions showed higher stiffness values than superficial muscle regions at 30% MVC (51.46 ± 38.17 vs. 31.83 ± 17.05 kPa; p = 0.019), 40% MVC (75.21 ± 42.27 vs. 51.25 ± 28.90 kPa; p = 0.018), 50% MCV (85.34 ± 45.05 vs. 61.16 ± 37.03 kPa; p = 0.034) and 60% MVC (109.29 ± 40.04 vs. 76.67 ± 36.07 kPa; p = 0.002). Rectus femoris stiffness increased during the incremental isometric contraction test, and inter-region differences were found at 30% MVC. Full article
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11 pages, 14656 KiB  
Article
Limitations of Muscle Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography for Clinical Routine—Positioning and Muscle Selection
by Alyssa Romano, Deborah Staber, Alexander Grimm, Cornelius Kronlage and Justus Marquetand
Sensors 2021, 21(24), 8490; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21248490 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4002
Abstract
Shear wave elastography (SWE) is a clinical ultrasound imaging modality that enables non-invasive estimation of tissue elasticity. However, various methodological factors—such as vendor-specific implementations of SWE, mechanical anisotropy of tissue, varying anatomical position of muscle and changes in elasticity due to passive muscle [...] Read more.
Shear wave elastography (SWE) is a clinical ultrasound imaging modality that enables non-invasive estimation of tissue elasticity. However, various methodological factors—such as vendor-specific implementations of SWE, mechanical anisotropy of tissue, varying anatomical position of muscle and changes in elasticity due to passive muscle stretch—can confound muscle SWE measurements and increase their variability. A measurement protocol with a low variability of reference measurements in healthy subjects is desirable to facilitate diagnostic conclusions on an individual-patient level. Here, we present data from 52 healthy volunteers in the areas of: (1) Characterizing different limb and truncal muscles in terms of inter-subject variability of SWE measurements. Superficial muscles with little pennation, such as biceps brachii, exhibit the lowest variability whereas paravertebral muscles show the highest. (2) Comparing two protocols with different limb positioning in a trade-off between examination convenience and SWE measurement variability. Repositioning to achieve low passive extension of each muscle results in the lowest SWE variability. (3) Providing SWE shear wave velocity (SWV) reference values for a specific ultrasound machine/transducer setup (Canon Aplio i800, 18 MHz probe) for a number of muscles and two positioning protocols. We argue that methodological issues limit the current clinical applicability of muscle SWE. Full article
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13 pages, 2759 KiB  
Article
Objective Assessment of Regional Stiffness in Vastus Lateralis with Different Measurement Methods: A Reliability Study
by Alfredo Bravo-Sánchez, Pablo Abián, Jorge Sánchez-Infante, Paula Esteban-Gacía, Fernando Jiménez and Javier Abián-Vicén
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093213 - 6 May 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3625
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of four methods of assessing vastus lateralis (VL) stiffness, and to describe the influence of structural characteristics on them. The stiffness of the dominant lower-limb’s VL was evaluated in 53 healthy participants (28.4 [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of four methods of assessing vastus lateralis (VL) stiffness, and to describe the influence of structural characteristics on them. The stiffness of the dominant lower-limb’s VL was evaluated in 53 healthy participants (28.4 ± 9.1 years) with shear wave elastography (SWE), strain elastography (SE), myotonometry and tensiomyography (TMG). The SWE, SE and myotonometry were performed at 50%, and TMG was assessed at 30%, of the length from the upper pole of the patella to the greater trochanter. The thickness of the VL, adipose tissue and superficial connective tissue was also measured with ultrasound. Three repeated measurements were acquired to assess reliability, using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the relationships between methodologic assessments and between structural characteristics and stiffness assessments of the VL. Myotonometry (ICC = 0.93; 95%-CI = 0.89,0.96) and TMG (ICC = 0.89; 95%-CI = 0.82,0.94) showed excellent inter-day reliability whereas with SWE (ICC = 0.62; 95%-CI = 0.41,0.77) and SE (ICC = 0.71; 95%-CI = 0.57,0.81) reliability was moderate. Significant correlations were found between myotonometry and VL thickness (r = 0.361; p = 0.008), adipose tissue thickness (r = −0.459; p = 0.001) and superficial connective tissue thickness (r = 0.340; p = 0.013). Myotonometry and TMG showed the best reliability values, although myotonometry stiffness values were influenced by the structural variables of the supra-adjacent tissue. Full article
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