To determine the reproducibility of compression elastography (CE) when measuring strain data, a measure of stiffness of the human Achilles tendon in vivo, over consecutive measures, consecutive days and when using different foot positions.
Eight participants (4 males, 4 females; mean age 25.5 ± 2.51 years, range 21-30 years; height 173.6 ± 11.7 cm, range 156-189 cm) had five consecutive CE measurements taken on one day and a further five CE measures taken, one per day, at the same time of day, every day for a consecutive 5-day period. These 80 measurements were used to assess both the repeatability and reproducibility of the technique. Means, standard deviations, coefficient of variation (CV), Pearson correlation analysis (R) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated.
For CE data, all CVs were above 53%, R values indicated no-to-weak correlations between measures at best (range 0.01-0.25), and ICC values were all classified in the poor category (range 0.00-0.11). CVs for length and diameter measures were acceptably low indicating a high level of reliability.
Given the wide variation obtained in the CE results, it was concluded that CE using this specific system has a low level of reproducibility for measuring the stiffness of the human Achilles tendon in vivo over consecutive days, consecutive measures and in different foot positions.
Achilles tendon; Compression elastography; Elastography.
AbstractObjective: Materials and methods: Results: Conclusions: Keywords: