Objective: A repeatable and reliable follow-up of knee injuries would be desirable to prevent delayed diagnosis and to monitor the efficacy of the applied treatment over time. Ultrasound (US) techniques are an attractive option to this purpose, since they are safe, low-cost and non-invasive. However, its use in the clinical practice is limited by the high dependency on the operator's experience. Hence, the objective of this study is to provide a standardization of the US image acquisition process for knee osteoarthritis (OA) allowing an extended clinical use of US technologies in this domain. Methods: Clinical specifications were provided by expert musculoskeletal radiologists thus identifying the subject poses and the US probe positions needed to evaluate the cartilage structure, signs of synovitis and joint effusion. Such considerations were used to derive the technical requirements needed for the development of a wearable brace equipped with specific openings to guide the correct placement of the probe. The feasibility of the developed wearable brace was tested on three healthy volunteers, which were asked to acquire informative US images, similar to the reference images performed by the musculoskeletal radiologist. Results: Thanks to the knee brace, the untrained subjects were able to self-acquire informative B-mode images comparable to the corresponding images acquired by an expert clinician. Discussion/Conclusion: The use of a knee brace intended for knee OA US diagnosis demonstrated the possibility to standardize the acquisition protocol and make its application achievable also for untrained subjects, representing a key step toward tele-ultrasonography.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
- Acquisition standardization
- ultrasound imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering