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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Ultrasound-based speckle-tracking in tendons: a critical analysis for the technician and the clinician

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Ultrasound has risen to the forefront as one of the primary tools in tendon research, with benefits including its relatively low cost, ease of use, and high safety. Moreover, it has been shown that cine ultrasound can be used to evaluate tendon deformation by tracking the motion of anatomical landmarks during physical movement. Estimates from landmark tracking, however, are typically limited to global tissue properties, such that clinically relevant regional nonuniformities may be missed. Fortunately, advancements in ultrasound scanning have led to the development of speckle-tracking algorithms, which enable the noninvasive measurement of in vivo local deformation patterns. Despite the successes in other fields, the adaptation of speckle-tracking to tendon research has presented some unique challenges as a result of tissue anisotropy and microstructural changes under load. With no generally accepted standards for its use, current methodological approaches vary substantially between studies and research groups. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to provide a summative review of the technical complexities and variations of speckle-tracking approaches being used and the impact these decisions may have on measured results and their interpretation. Variations in these approaches currently being used with relevant technical aspects are discussed first (for the technician), followed by a discussion of the more clinical considerations (for the clinician). Finally, a summary table of common challenges encountered when implementing speckle-tracking is provided, with suggested recommendations for minimizing the impact of such potential sources of error.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume130
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)445-456
Number of pages12
ISSN0161-7567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Achilles tendon, Fascicle, Mechanics, Nonuniform motion, Shear

ID: 61631381