Article Title

A novel, reliable protocol to objectively assess scar stiffness using shear wave elastography

Abstract

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.

Keywords

elastography, shear wave elastography, 2-D shear wave elastography, objective scar assessment, burn, scar pliability, reliability

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(E-mail: info@perthspc.com.au)

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Link to Publisher Version (URL)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.03.003

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