Ultrasound elastography in tendon pathology: state of the art

Skeletal Radiol. 2017 Dec;46(12):1643-1655. doi: 10.1007/s00256-017-2726-2. Epub 2017 Aug 1.


Elastography assesses the biomechanical and structural properties of tissues by measuring their stiffness. Despite promising results, elastography has not yet earned its place in the daily practice of musculoskeletal radiologists. The purpose of this article is to present and examine the data available to date on ultrasound elastography of the tendons through a review of the literature to provide musculoskeletal radiologists with an overview that may help them better understand and use elastography routinely. The most common techniques in ultrasound elastography are described. Then, the aspects of the physiologic and pathologic tendon are presented and discussed. One must make this technique one's own to better apprehend its contribution to the musculoskeletal imaging field, while bearing in mind that further research will be required before admitting elastography as a reliable and validated tool able to optimize our daily clinical practice.

Keywords: Elastosonography, ultrasound, elastography; Quasi-static elastography; Shear-wave elastography; Strain elastography; Tendinopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendons / diagnostic imaging*