Staging achilles tendinopathy using ultrasound imaging: The development and investigation of a new ultrasound imaging criteria based on the continuum model of tendon pathology

Wesley Matthews*, Richard Ellis, James W. Furness, Evelyne Rathbone, Wayne Hing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim To develop a standardised ultrasound imaging (USI)-based criteria for the diagnosis of tendinopathy that aligns with the continuum model of tendon pathology. Secondary aims were to assess both the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the criteria. Methods A criteria was developed following a face validity assessment and a total of 31 Achilles tendon ultrasound images were analysed. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability were assessed for overall tendinopathy stage (normal, reactive/early dysrepair or late dysrepair/degenerative) as well as for individual parameters (thickness, echogenicity and vascularity). Quadratic weighted kappa (k w) was used to report on reliability. Results Intra-rater reliability was â € substantial' for overall tendinopathy staging (k w rater A; 0.77, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.94, rater B; 0.70, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.89) and ranged from â € substantial' to â € almost perfect' for thickness (k w rater A; 0.75, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.90, rater B; 0.84, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.98), echogenicity (k w rater A; 0.78, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.95, rater B; 0.73, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.89) and vascularity (k w rater A; 0.86, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.98, rater B; 0.89, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.99). Inter-rater reliability ranged from â € substantial' to â € almost perfect' for overall tendinopathy staging (k w round 1; 0.75, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.91, round 2; 0.81, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.99), thickness (k w round 1; 0.65, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.83, round 2; 0.77, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.93), echogenicity (k w round 1; 0.70, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.85, round 2; 0.76, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.94) and vascularity (k w round 1; 0.89, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.99, round 2; 0.86, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.98). Inter-rater reliability increased from â € substantial' in round 1 (k w 0.75, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.91) to â € almost perfect' in round 2 (0.81, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.99). Conclusion Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability were â € substantial' to â € almost perfect' when utilising an USI-based criteria to diagnose Achilles tendinopathy. This is the first study to use the continuum model of tendon pathology to develop an USI-based criteria to diagnose tendinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000699
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020

    Fingerprint

Cite this