Characterization of hand tendons through high-frequency ultrasound elastography

Pei Yu Chen, Tai Hua Yang, Li Chieh Kuo, Cho Chiang Shih, Chih Chung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tendon stiffness plays an important role in the tendon healing process, and many studies have indicated that measuring the shear wave velocity (SWV) on tendons relates to their stiffness. Because the thickness of hand tendons is a few millimeters, high-resolution imaging is required for visualizing hand tissues. However, the resolution of current ultrasound elastography systems is insufficient. In this study, a high-frequency (HF) ultrasound elastography system is proposed for measuring the SWVs of hand tendons. The HF ultrasound elastography system uses an external vibrator to create shear waves on hand tendons. Then, it uses a 40-MHz HF ultrasound array transducer with ultrafast ultrasound imaging technology to measure the SWV for characterizing hand tendons. A handheld device that combines a transducer and a vibrator allows the user to scan hand tissues. The biases of HF ultrasound elastography were measured in gelatin phantom experiments and were less than 6% compared to standard mechanical testing approach. Human experiments showed the ability to use HF ultrasound elastography to distinguish different SWVs of hand tendons. The SWVs were 0.73 ± 0.65 m/s and 1 ± 0.54 m/s for flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP), respectively, and 0.52 ± 0.14 m/s and 4.02 ± 0.77 m/s for extensor tendon under stretch and contraction conditions, respectively. The simplicity and convenience of the HF ultrasound elastography system for measuring hand tendon stiffness make it a promising tool for evaluating the severity of hand injuries and the performance of rehabilitation after hand injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8818334
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of hand tendons through high-frequency ultrasound elastography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this