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Sciatic Nerve Hardness Measurement by Using Ultrasound Elastography

  • R. Santos
    Affiliations
    Instituto Politecnico De Coimbra-Escola Superior De Tecnologia Da Saude De Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Universidade Técnica De Lisboa, Faculdade De Motricidade Humana, Lisboa, Portugal
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  • P. Armada
    Affiliations
    Instituto Politecnico De Coimbra-Escola Superior De Tecnologia Da Saude De Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Universidade Técnica De Lisboa, Faculdade De Motricidade Humana, Lisboa, Portugal
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      Brief Description of the Purpose of the Study

      Elastography is a recent technique, still unexplored. Only the first investigations in musculoskeletal area. This method studies the hardness of tissues, allowing to quickly detect changes. However, for this it's important to know the hardness degree of each tissue. The The Sciatic nerve is a structure that can often present alterations that at an early stage can't be detected. This study aims to evaluate the hardness of sciatic nerve.

      Methods

      Twenty healthy male volunteers, with a mean age of 25 (SD 1,6) years old, were submitted an elastography ultrasound exam by using 14-6MHZ linear array transducer combined with a stabilizer. Both images were acquired within 10 minutes. Color-coded elasticity images were obtained and analyzed through MATLAB.

      Main Results

      Elastography results demonstrated that healthy sciatic nerve has a higher percentage of blue color (hard properties).

      Importance of the Conclusions

      The sciatic nerve hardness can be measured by elastography. With this study the sciatic nerve can be identified as a hard structure. So if there is any sciatic nerve alteration it can be identified, early.