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

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Veterinary Sciences


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.
Date of Award28 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SponsorsFondation Mont-Godinne
SupervisorJean-Michel Vandeweerd (Supervisor), Bernardo Innocenti (Supervisor), Ivo Lambrichts (Supervisor), Peter Clegg (Supervisor), Benoit Muylkens (President), Fanny Hontoir (Jury), Charles Nicaise (Jury), Yves Boutsen (Jury) & Frédéric E. Lecouvet (Jury)


  • biomechanical properties
  • ovine
  • patellar tendon
  • shear wave elastography
  • sheep
  • stiffness
  • ultrasound

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