Ultrasonography for the assessment of the structural properties of the Achilles tendon in asymptomatic individuals: An intra-rater reproducibility study

  • BACKGROUND: Reproducible measurements of tendon structural properties are a prerequisite for accurate diagnosis of tendon disorders and for determination of their mechanical properties. Despite the widely used application of Ultrasonography (US) in musculoskeletal assessment, its operator dependency and lack of standardization influences the consistency of the measurement. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the intra-rater reproducibility of a standardized US method assessing the structural properties of the Achilles tendon (AT). METHODS: Sixteen asymptomatic participants were positioned prone on an isokinetic dynamometer with the knee extended and ankle at 90. flexion. US was used to assess AT-length, cross-sectional area (CSA), and AT-elongation during isometric plantarflexion contraction. The intra-rater reproducibility was assessed by ICC (2.1), Test-Retest Variability (TRV, %), Bland-Altman analyses (Bias +/- LoA [1.96*SD]), and Standard-Error of Measurement (SEM). RESULTS: Measurements of AT-length demonstrated an ICC of 0.93, TRV ofBACKGROUND: Reproducible measurements of tendon structural properties are a prerequisite for accurate diagnosis of tendon disorders and for determination of their mechanical properties. Despite the widely used application of Ultrasonography (US) in musculoskeletal assessment, its operator dependency and lack of standardization influences the consistency of the measurement. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the intra-rater reproducibility of a standardized US method assessing the structural properties of the Achilles tendon (AT). METHODS: Sixteen asymptomatic participants were positioned prone on an isokinetic dynamometer with the knee extended and ankle at 90. flexion. US was used to assess AT-length, cross-sectional area (CSA), and AT-elongation during isometric plantarflexion contraction. The intra-rater reproducibility was assessed by ICC (2.1), Test-Retest Variability (TRV, %), Bland-Altman analyses (Bias +/- LoA [1.96*SD]), and Standard-Error of Measurement (SEM). RESULTS: Measurements of AT-length demonstrated an ICC of 0.93, TRV of 4.5 +/- 3.9%, Bias +/- LoA of -2.8 +/- 25.0 mm and SEM of 6.6 mm. AT-CSA showed an ICC of 0.79, TRV of 8.7 +/- 9.6%, Bias +/- LoA of 1.7 +/- 19.4 mm(2) and SEM of 5.3 mm(2). AT-elongation revealed an ICC of 0.92, TRV of 12.9 +/- 8.9%, Bias +/- LoA of 0.3 +/- 5.7 mm and SEM of 1.5 mm. CONCLUSIONS: The presented methodology allows a reproducible assessment of Achilles tendon structural properties when performed by a single rater.show moreshow less

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Author:Konstantina IntziegianniORCiDGND, Michael CasselGND, Niklas König, Steffen MüllerGND, Katja Fröhlich, Frank MayerORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3233/IES-150586
ISSN:0959-3020 (print)
ISSN:1878-5913 (online)
Parent Title (English):Isokinetics and exercise science : official journal of the European Isokinetic Society
Publisher:IOS Press
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Achilles tendon; Ultrasonography; isokinetic; reproducibility
Volume:23
Issue:4
Pagenumber:8
First Page:263
Last Page:270
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Sportmedizin und Prävention
Peer Review:Referiert