Evaluation of the shear wave elastography in assessing the biomechanical properties of the patellar tendon in an ovine model

PhD thesis defended by Dr. Françoise KAYSER (Prof. Jean-Michel VANDEWEERD) - 28/03/2022

Dr. Françoise KAYSER, CHU UCL Namur, Diagnostic Imaging


Prof. Jean-Michel VANDEWEERD, UNamur, Integrated Veterinary Research Unit (URVI)

  • Prof. Benoît MUYLKENS (département de médecine vétérinaire, UNamur), président
  • Prof. Jean-Michel VANDEWEERD (département de médecine vétérinaire, UNamur), promoteur et secrétaire
  • Dr Fanny HONTOIR (département de médecine vétérinaire, UNamur)
  • Prof. Ivo LAMBRICHTS (Biomedical Research Institute, UHasselt), promoteur
  • Prof. Charles NICAISE (département de médecine, UNamur)
  • Prof. Yves BOUTSEN (institut de recherche expérimentale et clinique, UCLouvain)
  • Prof. Frédéric LECOUVET (institut de recherche expérimentale et clinique, UCLouvain)
  • Prof. Bernardo INNOCENTI (Unité de recherche en Bio Mechatronics, ULB)
  • Prof. Peter CLEGG (Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, ULiverpool)

Tendon injuries are very common, slow to heal and the available treatment options are unsatisfactory. There is therefore a need to develop new treatment strategies and new imaging techniques to detect it at an early stage and to assess its progress overtime accurately. The aim of this PhD thesis was to assess, in an ovine model, whether shear wave elastography (SWE) can be used to evaluate the biomechanical properties of the patellar tendon, a tendon that is commonly affected in man. Three different questions were asked. What is the normal anatomy of the knee (stifle) by conventional ultrasound? How does the stiffness measured by an ex vivo load-displacement test, vary in the patellar tendon in a population of healthy research sheep?

Are SWE measures a relevant surrogate of biomechanical properties of tendons? We showed that ultrasound anatomy of the ovine knee is similar to that in man and that shear wave velocity in living sheep correlates to stiffness measurements obtained by ex vivo biomechanical tests.

SWE is a promising imaging technique that could be used more extensively in other species including man.