Validation of an assessment tool for estimation of abdominal aortic aneurysm compression in diagnostic ultrasound

Ultrasonics. 2021 May 29;116:106484. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2021.106484. Online ahead of print.


The study investigated ultrasound (US) transducer push, tantamount to applied transducer pressure, during abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) US scanning in a simulated non-clinical setup. During an assessment of maximal AAA diameter on a three-dimensional print-based AAA phantom, US transducer push varied as much as 2000% (range: 0.52-12.45 kPa) amongst 16 experienced sonographers. The mean transducer push was 5.54 ± 3.91 kPa (CV = 0.71). Deformation of a standardized gel-pad allowed for transducer push calculation based on US images; Young's modulus of the gel-pad was estimated to 44,26 N/m2. The method is theoretically validated in a safe and non-clinical environment. Future investigations with the aim of clinical validation of the gel-pad principle on AAA patients are suggested, including the objectification of the magnitude of an eventual transducer push-related error during US AAA diameter measurement.

Keywords: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm; Diameter measurement; Transducer push; Ultrasound; Ultrasound phantom.