Standardizing the Science of Ultrasound Scanning 23 January 2024

Ultrasound scanning, especially with respect to in musculoskeletal diagnostics, is often perceived more as an art than a science. The ability to reproduce the exact image of a previously scanned structure is almost nonexistent, not to mention, reproducing or interpreting an image made by a colleague can be quite challenging.

However, with UTC Imaging, we aim to change this notion by offering a standardized approach to ultrasound scanning. Regardless of who conducts the scanning, the produced data-sets show remarkable consistency.

Bringing Consistency to Ultrasound Scanning

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) from various studies on our technology have consistently shown values well above 90%. This reflects our commitment to ensuring the highest possible reliability in ultrasound imaging. While good training is essential for generating quality data-sets, the learning curve with our technology is not steep, making it accessible even to those not experienced in ultrasound scanning.

Tracker Technology: Precision in Motion

Our tracker technology eliminates the need for manual hand movements during scanning, a factor that usually contributes to inconsistent results. With the tracker, the transducer moves over the area of interest at increments of 0.2mm, collects a series of 600 transverse cross-sections in 40 seconds, and stores them as a 3D data-set. The resulting image stability significantly boosts the reliability of the scanning process.

Predefined Presets for Diverse Tendons

We provide predefined presets for various tendons, such as the patellar, Achilles, SDF, DDF, etc, each created with the utmost care and precision in close collaboration with field experts. These presets define parameters like focus points, TGC, depth and image modes, further enhancing the scanning process’s consistency.
Our clients find immense value in these presets, with most opting to use them over creating their own. However, the flexibility to create personalized presets remains an option.

Viewing Data in Multiple Planes

Leveraging our UTC imaging software, you can view the stored data-set in three different planes simultaneously: transverse, sagittal, and coronal cross-sections. By sliding through the data-set, you can thoroughly analyze the areas of interest.
The 3-D coronal image (lower right quadrant) is built-up from a number of layers and gives a three-dimensional impression. Often referred to as the surgical view.

Sample normal Achilles tendon

Sample SDF relapse

Sharing Made Easy

Since the generated data-sets are not affected by operator skills or ultrasound scanner settings, they can be easily shared and discussed amongst UTC imaging users. This feature allows for collaborative learning and research, broadening the scope and potential of ultrasound imaging.

By transforming the art of ultrasound scanning into a standardized science, UTC Imaging continues to contribute significantly to the field of diagnostic imaging.