Obstetrics: Quantitative elastography of the human uterine cervix by the use of a force-measuring device

Project: Research

  • MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dept Math
See relations at Aarhus University

Description

This project is collaboration between Randers Regional Hospital, Randers, Denmark and Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Randers Regional Hospital, Randers has recently purchased the requisite equipment to perform this project. Two PhD theses have been published within the same field from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital.
Aims
The overall aim of this project is to evaluate clinically a force-measuring device during elastography for assessment of the biomechanical properties of the human uterine cervix. The device will be developed in collaboration with Matthew Gilbertson and Brian Anthony, Professor and PhD in Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA.
Background
Recently, a new method has been suggested as useful for in vivo assessment of the biomechanical properties of the human uterine cervix. This method, termed elastography, is based on conventional ultrasound in combination with advanced software analysis.
Elastography was introduced to evaluate tissue consistency by compressibility. Elastography is based on ultrasound and measures ultrasound echoes during manual compression of the tissue by the ultrasound transducer. By measuring the difference in distance between the speckles it evaluates the stiffness of the tissue; soft tissue will be compressed more, and have a greater difference in speckle distance during compression compare to hard tissue.
A limitation of elastography is that the force applied by the transducer is unknown. As the observer operating the transducer manually applies the force it demands greate skills and experience to gain reliable measurements. A standardization of the applied force by the development of a mechanical device may give better inter-, and intra-observer performance. Furthermore, a known compressibility force makes it possible to calculate the stiffness of the uterine cervical tissue and thus makes the method quantitative. A quantitative method is needed according to compare values of the uterine cervical stiffness among women.
We have already developed the first prototype of a force-measuring device in collaboration with Matthew Gilbertson and Brian Anthony Professor and PhD in Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound, Boston, USA. Matthew Gilbertson and Brian Anthony have performed several studies on standardization of devices for ultrasonic imaging, but until now no device for a vaginal probe has been developed. In the research field of elastography a standardization of the applied force by the ultrasound transducer has long been called for. Although already prototyped, our device needs to be tested and improved.
Study plan
Study 1 aims to clinically test a mechanical device to standardize the force applied with the transvaginal ultrasound transducer during the elastography scan and to evaluate the intra- and inter-observer reliability. The study will be conducted on three Poly Acryl Amid phantoms with different Young’s modulus, all produced by Department of Engineering, Aarhus University by Mogens Hinge, Professor.
Study 2 aims to clinically test a mechanical device to standardize the force applied with the transvaginal ultrasound transducer during the elastography scan in vivo.
Both studies will be performed in collaboration with Matthew Gilbertson and Brian Anthony, Professor and PhD in Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound, Boston, USA.
Study population
•Study 2: 60 women (20 women 12th week of gestation, 20 women 20th week of gestation and 20 women 38th week of gestation)
Research plan
MD Tanja Østerlund Mortensen will conduct the experiments, and under supervision perform data management and statistical analysis of the results. Anne Katrine Leonhard (research year student) will introduce Tanja Østerlund Mortensen to elastography scanning. Convey results will be published as articles in peer reviewed international journals.
Time schedule
Study 1 will be performed in spring 2016.
Study 2 will be performed during fall/winter 2016/2017.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/09/201613/02/2020

ID: 129048802