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Intervertebral disc characterization by shear wave elastography: an in-vitro preliminary study

Abstract : Patient-specific numerical simulation of the spine is a useful tool both in clinic and research. While geometrical personalization of the spine is no more an issue, thanks to recent technological advances, non-invasive personalization of soft tissue's mechanical properties remains a challenge. Ultrasound elastography is a relatively recent measurement technique allowing the evaluation of soft tissue's elastic modulus through the measurement of shear wave speed (SWS). The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of elastographic measurements in intervertebral disc (IVD). An in-vitro approach was chosen to test the hypothesis that SWS can be used to evaluate IVD mechanical properties and to assess measurement repeatability. Eleven oxtail IVDs were tested in compression to determine their stiffness and apparent elastic modulus at rest and at 400 N. Elastographic measurements were performed in these two conditions and compared to these mechanical parameters. The protocol was repeated six times to determine elastographic measurement repeatability. Average SWS over all samples was 5.3 ± 1.0 m/s, with a repeatability of 7 % at rest and 4.6 % at 400 N; stiffness and apparent elastic modulus were 266.3 ± 70.5 N/mm and 5.4 ± 1.1 MPa at rest, respectively, while at 400 N they were 781.0 ± 153.8 N/mm and 13.2 ± 2.4 MPa. Correlations were found between elastographic measurements and IVD mechanical properties; these preliminary results are promising for further in-vivo application.
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Claudio Vergari, Philippe Rouch, Guillaume Dubois, Dominique Bonneau, Jean Dubousset, et al.. Intervertebral disc characterization by shear wave elastography: an in-vitro preliminary study. Proceeding of the IME Part H : Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 2014, pp.In Press. ⟨10.1177/0954411914540279⟩. ⟨hal-01010870⟩

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