Classification of Tendon Matrix Change Using Ultrasound Imaging: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Ultrasound imaging (US) is an accurate and reliable method used to diagnose tendinopathy. This systematic review was aimed at identifying common criteria and parameters used to diagnose tendinopathy, the methodological quality of studies and the predictive value of US. Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria, with the Achilles, quadriceps and patella tendons being investigated. Overall, there was significant heterogeneity between the criteria used to diagnose tendinopathy utilising US. The methodological quality of included studies was "good.” Additionally, meta-analysis revealed that US-identified abnormalities were predictive of future symptoms, and classification of tendinopathy using three US defined parameters indicated a higher relative risk of developing clinical tendinopathy compared with the use of two US-defined parameters. Further research into the development of a standardised US criterion that incorporates both clinical and US findings is required to allow for greater consistency in the diagnosis of tendinopathy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2080
Number of pages22
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Early online date12 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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