European Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2130–2137 | Cite as

Tissue elasticity estimated by acoustic radiation force impulse quantification depends on the applied transducer force: an experimental study in kidney transplant patients

  • Trygve SyversveenEmail author
  • Karsten Midtvedt
  • Audun E. Berstad
  • Knut Brabrand
  • Erik H. Strøm
  • Andreas Abildgaard



Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) quantification estimates tissue elasticity by measuring shear-wave velocity (SWV) and has been applied to various organs. We evaluated the impact of variations in the transducer force applied to the skin on the SWV ultrasound measurements in kidney transplant cortex and ARFI’s ability to detect fibrosis in kidney transplants.


SWV measurements were performed in the cortex of 31 patients with kidney allografts referred for surveillance biopsies. A mechanical device held the transducer and applied forces were equal to a compression weight of 22, 275, 490, 975, 2,040 and 2,990 g.


SWV group means were significantly different by repeat measures ANOVA [F(2.85,85.91) = 84.75, P < 0.0005 for 22, 275, 490, 975 and 2,040 g compression weight] and also by pairwise comparisons. Biopsy specimens were sufficient for histological evaluation in 29 of 31 patients. Twelve had grade 0, 11 grade 1, five grade 2 and one grade 3 fibrosis. One-way ANOVA showed no difference in SWV performed with any of the applied transducer forces between grafts with various degrees of fibrosis.


SWV measurements in kidney transplants are dependent on the applied transducer force and do not differ in grafts with different grades of fibrosis.

Key Points

Acoustic radiation force impulses (ARFI) can quantify tissue elasticity during ultrasound examinations.

Elasticity estimated by ARFI in kidney transplants depends on applied transducer force.

ARFI quantification cannot detect renal allograft fibrosis.

ARFI elasticity estimates may in general vary with applied transducer force.


Ultrasound Elasticity measurements Acoustic radiation force impulse quantification Kidney transplantation Fibrosis 



acoustic radiation force impulse


interstitial fibrosis


region of interest


shear-wave velocity


transient elastography




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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trygve Syversveen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karsten Midtvedt
    • 2
  • Audun E. Berstad
    • 1
  • Knut Brabrand
    • 1
  • Erik H. Strøm
    • 3
  • Andreas Abildgaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, RikshospitaletOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Medical Department, Section of Nephrology, RikshospitaletOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, RikshospitaletOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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