Article Title

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


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



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

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