Identifying achilles tendon structure differences by ultrasound tissue characterization in asymptomatic individuals.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ultrasound Tissue Characterization (UTC) is a modality that can be utilized to characterize tendon tissue structure using ultrasonographic imaging paired with a computer algorithm to distinguish echo-types. Several studies have demonstrated UTCs ability to distinguish Achilles tendon morphology changes, but no study has established normative data of the Achilles tendon in the general population. The aim of this study was to determine UTC echo-type distribution in the Achilles tendon in an asymptomatic population. UTC scans were completed and analyzed on 508 participants without Achilles tendinopathy. Dedicated UTC-algorithms were used to distinguish and calculate echo-type percentages and the fiber type distribution was compared. The overall sample echo-type percentages demonstrated greater levels of Type I and II echo-types, 65.73% and 32.00%, respectively, and lower levels of Type III and IV echo-types, 1.74% and 0.57%, respectively. In addition, females had lower levels of Echo-type I compared to men and greater levels of echo-type II (p < 0.001). We also found that African-Americans had significantly greater amounts of echo-type I and lesser amounts of echo-type II when compared to Caucasians (p < 0.05). The results of this study create a normative data set for future UTC studies to utilize as a baseline for the evaluation of Achilles tendons. In addition, it demonstrated tendon type differences between sexes and races that need to be accounted for in future studies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Elgart, B; Pietrosimone, LS; Lucero, A; Stafford, HC; Berkoff, DJ

Published Date

  • October 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1914 - 1920

PubMed ID

  • 34170573

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1600-0838

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/sms.14003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Denmark