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Does Unit of Reporting, Depth and Probe Load Influence the Reliability of Muscle Shear Wave Elastography?
Does Unit of Reporting, Depth and Probe Load Influence the Reliability of Muscle Shear Wave Elastography?
Submitted on 02 Aug 2017

Abdulrahman M. Alfuraih123, Philip O’Connor3, Elizabeth Hensor3, Ai Lyn Tan23, Paul Emery23, Richard Wakefield23.
1 Radiology and Medical Imaging Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Kharj, Saudi Arabia. | 2Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK | 3 NIHR-Leeds Biomedical Research Centre, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, Leeds, UK
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Poster Abstract

Does Unit of Reporting, Depth and Probe Load Influence the Reliability of Muscle Shear Wave Elastography?

Purpose: To investigate the effect of using different units, probe loads and acquisition depths on the reliability of shear wave elastography (SWE) in healthy skeletal muscles.

Methods: Using the new General Electric LOGIQ-E9 SWE system, the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, biceps brachii and abductor digiti minimi muscles were investigated in twenty healthy subjects. Readings were acquired in shear wave velocity (m/s) and Young’s modulus (kPa) from various depths. The effect of using a layer of standoff gel was compared against minimal probe load. Intraclass correlations (ICC) of three repeated measurements were used to report reliability.

Results: Velocity differed between the muscles and was lowest for biceps femoris (1.54 m/s) and highest for abductor digiti minimi (2.55 m/s) with a difference (95% CI) of 0.79 m/s (0.64, 0.95)]. In the vastus lateralis, using unit of m/s resulted in higher ICC of .83 (.65, 93) in comparison to .77 (.52, .90) for kPa which overestimates elasticity. The standoff gel method decreased reliability to .62 (.20, .84) despite the mean velocity being similar to minimal probe load. The variance of the repeated readings increased significantly with depth from 0.07 at 4cm to 0.17 at 6cm (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Acquisition factors have an influence on the reliability of muscle SWE. Elasticity units are not synonymous, and using kPa may produce less reliable results. We recommend acquiring readings using minimal probe load from depths less than 4cm.
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