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Induced transducer orientation during ultrasound imaging: effects on abdominal muscle thickness and bladder position

Whittaker, J., Warner, M. and Stokes, M. (2009) Induced transducer orientation during ultrasound imaging: effects on abdominal muscle thickness and bladder position Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 35, (11), pp. 1803-1811. (doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2009.05.018).

Record type: Article


The use of ultrasound imaging (USI) by physiotherapists to assess muscle behavior in clinical settings is increasing. However, there is relatively little evidence of whether the clinical environment is conducive to valid and reliable measurements. Accurate USI measurements depend on maintaining a relatively stationary transducer position, because motion may distort the image and lead to erroneous conclusions. This would seem particularly important during dynamic studies typical of a physiotherapy assessment. What is not known is how much transducer motion can occur before error is introduced. The aim of this study is to shed some light on this question. Eight healthy volunteers (19 to 52 y) participated. USI images were taken of the lateral abdominal wall (LAW) and bladder base (midline suprapubic) at various manually induced transducer orientations (approximately –10 to 10 about 3 axes of rotation), which were quantified by a digital optical motion capture system. Measurements of transversus abdominis (TrA) thickness and bladder base position (cranial /caudal and anterior/posterior) were calculated. Repeated measures analysis of variance was performed to determine if the measurements obtained at the induced transducer orientations were statistically different (p,0.05) from an image corresponding to a reference or starting transducer orientation. Motion analysis data corresponding to measurements that did not differ from reference image measurements were summarized to provide a range of acceptable transducer motion (relative to the pelvis) for clockwise (CW)/counter-clockwise (CCW) rotation, cranial/caudal tilting, medial/lateral tilting and inward/outward displacement. There were no significant changes in TrA thickness measurements if CW/CCW transducer motion was ,9 and cranial/caudal or medial/lateral transducer tilting was ,5. Further, there were no significant changes in measurements of bladder base position if CW/CCW transducer motion was ,10, cranial/caudal or medial/lateral transducer tilting was ,10 and 8, respectively and inward/outward motion was ,8 mm. These findings provide guidance on acceptable amounts of transducer motion relative to the pelvis when generating measurements of TrA thickness and bladder base position. Future sonographic studies and clinical assessment investigating these parameters could take these findings into account to improve imaging technique reliability

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Published date: August 2009
Keywords: bladder position, transversus abdominis, ultrasound imaging, ultrasound transducer, validity


Local EPrints ID: 69357
ISSN: 0301-5629
PURE UUID: 44f437d1-f113-4296-8e36-48e81b3e7ca6
ORCID for M. Warner: ORCID iD
ORCID for M. Stokes: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 Nov 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:12

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Author: J. Whittaker
Author: M. Warner ORCID iD
Author: M. Stokes ORCID iD

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