Characterization of ventral incisional hernia and repair using shear wave elastography.
BACKGROUND: To assess the integrity of hernia repair, imaging modalities such as computed tomography or ultrasound (US) are commonly used. Neither modality has currently the capacity to simultaneously image the mesh and quantify a prosthetic and surrounding tissue stiffness. In this pilot study, we hypothesize that US shear wave elastography (SWE) can be used to identify a polyester mesh and a biologic graft and to assess their stiffness noninvasively in a rat model of bridging hernia repair. METHODS: Lewis rats underwent hernia creation and repair with Parietex or Strattice at 30 d. After 3 mo, the animals were euthanized, and the Young's Modulus was measured using SWE. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the hernia pre- and post-repair were performed using in-house image processing algorithms. RESULTS: SWE was capable of accurate and real-time assessment and diagnosis of the hernia defects in vivo. Young's Modulus of Parietex meshes and Strattice grafts as estimated from the shear wave elastograms were found to be statistically different from each other (P < 0.05). Accurate three-dimensional reconstructions of the hernia defects pre- and post-repair were generated. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of using US SWE to detect ventral hernias and evaluate mesh repair in vivo. Our results indicate that the presence of a hernia and repair can be reliably visualized by SWE and three dimensionally reconstructed. Thus, this technique may provide both structural and functional information regarding the hernia and the repair.
Chaudhry, A; Fernandez-Moure, JS; Shajudeen, PS; Van Eps, JL; Cabrera, FJ; Weiner, BK; Dunkin, BJ; Tasciotti, E; Righetti, R
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