A scoping review of methods used in musculoskeletal soft tissue and nerve shear wave elastography studies.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

This scoping review of shear wave elastography (SWE) articles in musculoskeletal soft tissue and nerve research demonstrates methodological heterogeneity resulting from a lack of standardized data collection and reporting requirements. Seven literature databases were searched for original articles published in English from 2004-2020 that examine human skeletal muscles, tendons, and nerves in vivo. Although 5,868 records were initially identified, only 375 reports met inclusion criteria. Of the 375 articles, 260 examined 89 unique muscles, 94 examined 14 unique tendons, and 43 examined 8 unique nerves. Cohorts were often small (n = 11-20) and young (mean = 20-29 years), and participants were typically tested in the prone position. Regarding equipment, a variety of ultrasound systems (n = 11), ultrasound models (n = 18), and transducers (n = 19) were identified. Only 11% of articles contained information on the use of electromyography to confirm absence of muscle activity, and only 8% reported measurement depth. Since musculoskeletal soft tissue and nerve stiffness can vary significantly based on data collection methods, it is essential to standardize SWE collection and reporting procedures. This will allow SWE to serve as a valid and reproducible tool for assessing tissue pathology, disease progression, and response to intervention within a variety of musculoskeletal and nerve-related disorders.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cipriano, KJ; Wickstrom, J; Glicksman, M; Hirth, L; Farrell, M; Livinski, AA; Esfahani, SA; Maldonado, RJ; Astrow, J; Berrigan, WA; Piergies, AMH; Hobson-Webb, LD; Alter, KE

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 140 /

Start / End Page

  • 181 - 195

PubMed ID

  • 35659822

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9394639

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-8952

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.clinph.2022.04.013


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands