A novel, reliable protocol to objectively assess scar stiffness using shear wave elastography
DeJong, H., Abbott, S., Zelesco, M., Spilsbury, K., Martin, L., Sanderson, R., Ziman, M., Kennedy, B. F., & Wood, F. M. (2020). A novel, reliable protocol to objectively assess scar stiffness using shear wave elastography. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 46 (7), 1614-1629.
The aim of this research was to investigate the use of shear wave elastography as a novel tool to quantify and visualize scar stiffness after a burn. Increased scar stiffness is indicative of pathologic scarring which is associated with persistent pain, chronic itch and restricted range of movement. Fifty-five participants with a total of 96 scars and 69 contralateral normal skin sites were evaluated. A unique protocol was developed to enable imaging of the raised and uneven burn scars. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability was excellent (intra-class correlation coefficient >0.97), and test-retest reliability was good (intra-class correlation coefficient >0.85). Shear wave elastography was able to differentiate between normal skin, pathologic scars and non-pathologic scars, with preliminary cutoff values identified. Significant correlations were found between shear wave velocity and subjective clinical scar assessment (r = 0.66). Shear wave elastography was able to provide unique information associated with pathologic scarring and shows promise as a clinical assessment and research tool.
elastography, shear wave elastography, 2-D shear wave elastography, objective scar assessment, burn, scar pliability, reliability