Inter and intra-examiner reliability of ultrasound elastography for assessment of the anterior thigh in healthy adults
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Citation:Sharma, A. (2016). Inter and intra-examiner reliability of ultrasound elastography for assessment of the anterior thigh in healthy adults. An unpublished thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3506
BACKGROUND: To date there are few studies of acceptable methodological quality investigating the reliability of elastography ultrasound use in the lower limb. The aim of the study was to investigate the inter and intra-reliability of EUS assessment of anterior thigh soft-tissues. METHODS: Twelve healthy subjects (9 females, 3 males, mean ± SD age=28.9 ± 5.8 years, height = 169.6 ± 9.2cm, weight 69.6 ± 13.4kg) were recruited using convenience sampling. A repeated measures test retest design was used to compare EUS measures between (inter) and within (intra) 3 examiners (2 novices, 1 expert) using acoustic radiation force impulse elastography. The subjects attended one session where each examiner collected measures from each subject two times. Colour hue histograms were derived from elastogram images. RESULTS: Extraction reliability for images was excellent with ICC of 0.99 (95% CI= 0.99 – 1.00). The intra-examiner reliability was ‘fair to good’ for the experienced examiner and mostly ‘excellent’ for the novices. The inter-examiner reliability ranged between ‘fair to good’ and ‘excellent’. CONCLUSIONS: There was acceptable reliability for both inter and intra-examiner reliability for EUS assessment of anterior thigh soft-tissue stiffness. However, the small number of examiners may limit the generalisability of these findings.