Tendon echogenicity: ex vivo study

Radiology. 1988 May;167(2):499-501. doi: 10.1148/radiology.167.2.3282264.


Recent publications discussing the echogenicity of normal tendon have described it variously as hyperechoic or hypoechoic. Since the echogenicity of tendon has been used to define normality and abnormality, certain knowledge of the normal echogenicity of tendon is crucial. Fresh tendon and muscle from beef hock was scanned with sector- and linear-array-transducer imaging at multiple angles and distances. The echogenicity of tendon was found to be very angle-dependent, a characteristic known as anisotropy. Scanned perpendicular to its long axis with a linear-array transducer, tendon was significantly more echogenic than muscle. With a change in angle, echogenicity of tendon decreased relative to that of muscle (the echogenicity of muscle remained the same), becoming isoechoic at angles of 2 degrees -7 degrees and hypoechoic at greater angles. Tendon studied with a sector transducer exhibited varying echogenicity. If echogenicity is used as a diagnostic criterion, the angle of the interrogating ultrasound beam must be very specifically defined.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Tendons / analysis*
  • Ultrasonography*