Quantitative assessment of first annular pulley and adjacent tissues using high-frequency ultrasound

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Due to a lack of appropriate image resolution, most ultrasound scanners are unable to sensitively discern the pulley tissues. To extensively investigate the properties of the A1 pulley system and the surrounding tissues for assessing trigger finger, a 30 MHz ultrasound system was implemented to perform in vitro experiments using the hypodermis, A1 pulley, and superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) dissected from cadavers. Ultrasound signals were acquired from both the transverse and sagittal planes of each tissue sample. The quantitative ultrasonic parameters, including sound speed, attenuation coefficient, integrated backscatter (IB) and Nakagami parameter (m), were subsequently estimated to characterize the tissue properties. The results demonstrated that the acquired ultrasound images have high resolution and are able to sufficiently differentiate the variations of tissue textures. Moreover, the attenuation slope of the hypodermis is larger than those of the A1 pulley and SDFT. The IB of A1 pulley is about the same as that of the hypodermis, and is very different from SDFT. The m parameter of the A1 pulley is also very different from those of hypodermis and SDFT. This study demonstrated that high-frequency ultrasound images in conjunction with ultrasonic parameters are capable of characterizing the A1 pulley system and surrounding tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 7

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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