Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS): A potential arthroscopic tool for quantitative assessment of articular cartilage

Yan Ping Huang, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional ultrasound examination of the articular cartilage performed externally on the body surface around the joint has limited accuracy due to the inadequacy in frequency used. In contrast to this, minimally invasive arthroscopy-based ultrasound with adequately high frequency may be a better alternative to assess the cartilage. Up to date, no special ultrasound transducer for imaging the cartilage in arthroscopic use has been designed. In this study, we introduced the intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) for this purpose. An IVUS system with a catheter-based probe (φ ≈ 1mm) was used to measure the thickness and surface acoustical reflection of the bovine patellar articular cartilage in vitro before and after degeneration induced by enzyme treatments. Similar measurement was performed using another high frequency ultrasound system (Vevo) with a probe of much larger size and the results were compared between the two systems. The thickness measured using IVUS was highly correlated (r = 0.985, p < 0.001) with that obtained by Vevo. Thickness and surface reflection amplitude measured using IVUS on the enzymatically digested articular cartilage showed changes similar to those obtained by Vevo, which were expectedly consistent with previous investigations. IVUS can be potentially used for the quantitative assessment of articular cartilage, with its ready-to-use arthroscopic feature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Biomedical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2009


  • Acoustical properties
  • Articular cartilage
  • Degeneration
  • Enzyme digestion
  • High frequency
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Thickness
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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