Poor reproducibility of compression elastography in the Achilles tendon: same day and consecutive day measurements

Catherine Payne, Nick Webborn, Peter Watt, Mara Cercignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To determine the reproducibility of compression elastography (CE) when measuring strain data, a measure of stiffness of the human Achilles tendon in vivo, over consecutive measures, consecutive days and when using different foot positions. Materials and methods Eight participants (4 males, 4 females; mean age 25.5 ± 2.51 years, range 21-30 years; height 173.6 ± 11.7 cm, range 156-189 cm) had five consecutive CE measurements taken on one day and a further five CE measures taken, one per day, at the same time of day, every day for a consecutive 5-day period. These 80 measurements were used to assess both the repeatability and reproducibility of the technique. Means, standard deviations, coefficient of variation (CV), Pearson correlation analysis (R) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated. Results For CE data, all CVs were above 53%, R values indicated no-to-weak correlations between measures at best (range 0.01-0.25), and ICC values were all classified in the poor category (range 0.00-0.11). CVs for length and diameter measures were acceptably low indicating a high level of reliability. Conclusions Given the wide variation obtained in the CE results, it was concluded that CE using this specific system has a low level of reproducibility for measuring the stiffness of the human Achilles tendon in vivo over consecutive days, consecutive measures and in different foot positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00256-017-2629-2


  • Elastography
  • Compression elastography
  • Achilles tendon


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