B-Mode Ultrasonography Is a Reliable and Valid Alternative to Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Measuring Patellar Tendon Cross-Sectional Area

Steven Marshall*, Kirsty Hicks, Glyn Howatson, Lisa Cox, Kevin Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This study investigated the validity and reliability of measuring patellar tendon (PT) cross-sectional area (CSA) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) imaging. Nineteen healthy participants (10 women, 9 men) participated in three imaging sessions of the PT, once via MRI and twice via US, with image acquisition conducted by two raters, one experienced (rater 2) and one inexperienced (rater 1). All PT segmentations were analyzed by both raters. The validity of US-derived estimates of PT CSA against MRI estimates was analyzed using linear regression. Within-day reliability of US and MRI measurements and between-day reliability of US measurements were quantified using typical error (TE) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC 3,1). There was good agreement between US- and MRI-derived estimations of PT CSA (standard errors of the estimate of 3.3 mm 2 for rater 1 and 2.6 mm 2 for rater 2; Pearson's r = 0.97 and 0.98 for raters 1 and 2, respectively). Within-session reliability for estimations of total PT CSA from US and MRI were excellent (ICC 3,1 >0.95, coefficient of variation [CV] <4.1%, TE = 1.3–3.6 mm 2. Between-day reliability for US was excellent (ICC 3,1 >0.97, CV <2.7%, TE = 1.6–2.3 mm 2), with little difference between raters. These findings suggest that MRI and US both provide reliable estimates of PT CSA and that US can provide a valid measure of PT CSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Early online date12 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2022

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