Meniscus Stiffness Measured with Shear Wave Elastography is Correlated with Meniscus Degeneration

Jae Young Park, Jong Keun Kim, Jung Eun Cheon, Myung Chul Lee, Hyuk Soo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of shear wave elastography (SWE) in human meniscus degeneration, with histology serving as the standard of reference. This comparative in vivo and ex vivo study was performed in 15 medial and 15 lateral menisci from 13 patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for primary osteoarthritis with varus deformity. Patients underwent in vivo coronal measurement with SWE for meniscus before surgery. Then, ex vivo assessment of meniscus stiffness with SWE was performed with the tissue obtained after TKA. SWE measurements were made in coronal and sagittal views with respect to the meniscus. Samples were analyzed histologically on a 0–18 scale according to the level of degeneration based on surface integrity, cellularity, fiber organization, collagen alignment and Safranin O staining intensity. The correlation between SWE measurement scale and histology was analyzed using Spearman's correlation. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was used to calculate the diagnostic performance of SWE in evaluating meniscus degeneration. Significant increases in stiffness were observed with increasing histologic degeneration in both in vivo and ex vivo coronal SWE. AUROCs were 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.49–1.00) for in vivo coronal SWE, 0.73 (95% CI: 0.53–0.95) for ex vivo coronal SWE and 0.56 (95% CI: 0.27–0.84) for ex vivo sagittal SWE. The medial meniscus, which exhibited more degeneration on histologic analysis, had greater stiffness than the lateral meniscus on ex vivo coronal SWE. The values of meniscus stiffness measured with SWE are correlated with the degree of meniscus degeneration. Further large-scale prospective studies may confirm the diagnostic performance of SWE as a non-invasive tool to assess meniscus degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Degeneration
  • Histology
  • Meniscus
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Stiffness

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Meniscus Stiffness Measured with Shear Wave Elastography is Correlated with Meniscus Degeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this