Objectives: The purpose of this study was to correlate findings on small vessel vascularity between computerised findings and Newman's scaling using power Doppler ultrasonography (PDU) imaging and its predictive value in patients with plantar fasciitis.
Methods: PDU was performed on 44 patients (age range 30–66 years; mean age 48 years) with plantar fasciitis and 46 healthy subjects (age range 18–61 years; mean age 36 years). The vascularity was quantified using ultrasound images by a customised software program and graded by Newman's grading scale. Vascular index (VI) was calculated from the software program as the ratio of the number of colour pixels to the total number of pixels within a standardised selected area of proximal plantar fascia. The 46 healthy subjects were examined on 2 occasions 7–10 days apart, and 18 of them were assessed by 2 examiners. Statistical analyses were performed using intraclass correlation coefficient and linear regression analysis.
Results: Good correlation was found between the averaged VI ratios and Newman's qualitative scale (ρ=0.70; p<0.001). Intratester and intertester reliability were 0.89 and 0.61, respectively. Furthermore, higher VI was correlated with less reduction in pain after physiotherapeutic intervention.
Conclusions: The computerised VI not only has a high level of concordance with the Newman grading scale but is also reliable in reflecting the vascularity of proximal plantar fascia, and can predict pain reduction after intervention. This index can be used to characterise the changes in vascularity of patients with plantar fasciitis, and it may also be helpful for evaluating treatment and monitoring the progress after intervention in future studies.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the success rate in ultrasonography-guided ethanol ablation (EA) of benign, predominantly solid thyroid nodules and to assess the value of colour Doppler ultrasonography in prediction of its success.
Methods: From January 2008 to June 2009, 30 predominantly solid thyroid nodules in 27 patients were enrolled. Differences in the success rate of EA were assessed according to nodule vascularity, nodule size, ratio of cystic component, amount of injected ethanol, degree of intranodular echo-staining just after ethanol injection and the number of EA sessions.
Results: On follow-up ultrasonography after EA for treatment of thyroid nodules, 16 nodules showed an excellent response (90% or greater decrease in volume) and 2 nodules showed a good response (50–90% decrease in volume) on follow-up ultrasonography. However, 5 nodules showed an incomplete response (10–50% decrease in volume) and 7 nodules showed a poor response (10% or less decrease in volume). Statistical analysis revealed a significant association of nodule vascularity (p=0.002) and degree of intranodular echo-staining just after ethanol injection (p=0.003) with a successful outcome; however, no such association was observed with regard to nodule size, ratio of cystic component, amount of infused ethanol and the number of EA sessions. No serious complications were observed during or after EA.
Conclusion: The success rate of EA was 60%, and nodule vascularity and intranodular echo-staining on colour Doppler ultrasonography were useful in predicting the success rate of EA for benign, predominantly solid thyroid nodules.
Endoanal ultrasound is now regarded as the gold standard for evaluating anal sphincter pathology in the investigation of anal incontinence. The advent of three-dimensional ultrasound has further improved our understanding of the two-dimensional technique. Endoanal ultrasound requires specialised equipment and its relative invasiveness has prompted clinicians to explore alternative imaging techniques. Transvaginal and transperineal ultrasound have been recently evaluated as alternative imaging modalities. However, the need for technique standardisation, validation and reporting is of paramount importance. We conducted a MEDLINE search (1950 to February 2010) and critically reviewed studies using the three imaging techniques in evaluating anal sphincter integrity.