Ultrasound palpation sensor for tissue thickness and elasticity measurement - Assessment of transverse carpal ligament

Yongping Zheng, Z. M. Li, A. P C Choi, M. H. Lu, X. Chen, Q. H. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Palpation is a traditional diagnostic procedure for health care professionals to use their fingers to touch and feel the body soft tissues. It is a common clinical approach, though it is rather subjective and qualitative and the palpation results may vary among different people. Tissue ultrasound palpation sensor (TUPS) provides a feasible solution that makes the palpation of soft tissues not subjective feeling any more. It is comprised of an ultrasound transducer together with a load cell to form the finger-sized probe. The probe is used to push against the soft tissue surface to measure the thickness and elasticity of the soft tissues. TUPS has been successfully applied to the assessment of various human tissues. Recently, we have improved TUPS, which can now be linked to personal computer (PC) via universal serial bus (USB) and provide a better user-interface. The information of ultrasound signal and indentation force is displayed on PC in real time during measurement. In this paper, we introduce the recent application of TUPS for the assessment of the transverse carpal ligament. The tissues at the carpal tunnel regions of five normal male subjects were tested using TUPS. The results showed that the average thickness of the tissues covering the carpal tunnel ligament and the tunnel region was 7.98 ± 1.05 mm and 9.59 ± 1.12 mm, respectively. Under a compression force of 20 N applied by a cylindrical ultrasound indentor with a diameter of 9 mm, the stiffness of the soft tissue layer and the tunnel region was 6.72 ± 2.10 N/mm and 15.63 ± 8.42 N/mm, respectively. It is expected that TUPS can be a potential tool for non-invasive assessment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Issue numberSUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2006


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Palpation
  • Soft tissue
  • Tissue elasticity
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound palpation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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