The application of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) on study of aging effects of achilles tendons

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005;2005:6344-7. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2005.1615948.

Abstract

Recently, the quantitative ultrasound (QUS) technique has been widely applied for the characterization of tissues. For example, it can be used for the quantization of Achilles tendons based on the broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and speed of sound (SOS) when the ultrasound wave passes through the tissues. The main purpose of this study is to develop an integrated system to investigate the correlations between the measurements of Achilles tendons using QUS (UBIS 5000) and 2D ultrasound instrument (HDI 5000). Subjects including young (32 females and 17 males; mean age: 23.7+/-2.0) and middle-age groups (8 female and 8 males; mean age: 47.3+/-8.5 s) were recruited and tested for this study. All the subjects were ensured to have no habit of regular exercise and no record of tendon injury. The results show that BUA is significantly higher for the young group (45.2+/-1.6 dB/MHz) than the middle-age group (40.5+/-1.9 dB/MHz), while SOS is significantly lower for the young (1601.9+/-11.2m/s) than the middle-age (1624.1+/-8.7m/s). The thickness of Achilles tendons for both groups (young: 4.31+/-0.23mm; middle age: 4.24+/-0.23mm) are very similar. The noninvasive ultrasonic assessment of Achilles tendons might be helpful in clinical diagnosis and in evaluation of a therapeutic regimen. In the future, further animal studies should be made by measuring the BUA and SOS invasively to evaluate the accuracy of the parameters measured using QUS parametric images.