Recommended Musculoskeletal and Sports Ultrasound Terminology: A Delphi-Based Consensus Statement


Mederic M. Hall, Department of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Georgina M. Allen, St Luke's Radiology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Sandra Allison, Department of Radiology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
Joseph Craig, Department of Radiology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Joseph P. DeAngelis, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Patricia B. Delzell, Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants, Inc., Novelty, Ohio, USA.
Jonathan T. Finnoff, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Rachel M. Frank, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA.
Atul Gupta, Rochester Regional HealthFollow
Douglas F. Hoffman, Departments of Orthopedics and Radiology, Essentia Health, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.
Jon A. Jacobson, Department of Radiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Samer Narouze, Department of Surgery and Anesthesiology, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, USA.
Levon N. Nazarian, Department of Radiology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Kentaro Onishi, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Jeremiah W. Ray, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA.
Luca M. Sconfienza, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy.
Jay Smith, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Alberto Tagliafico, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.



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Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine


OBJECTIVES: The current lack of agreement regarding standardized terminology in musculoskeletal and sports ultrasound presents challenges in education, clinical practice, and research. This consensus was developed to provide a reference to improve clarity and consistency in communication.

METHODS: A multidisciplinary expert panel was convened consisting of 18 members representing multiple specialty societies identified as key stakeholders in musculoskeletal and sports ultrasound. A Delphi process was used to reach consensus which was defined as group level agreement > 80%.

RESULTS: Content was organized into seven general topics including: 1) General Definitions, 2) Equipment and Transducer Manipulation, 3) Anatomic and Descriptive Terminology, 4) Pathology, 5) Procedural Terminology, 6) Image Labeling, and 7) Documentation. Terms and definitions which reached consensus agreement are presented herein.

CONCLUSIONS: The historic use of multiple similar terms in the absence of precise definitions has led to confusion when conveying information between colleagues, patients, and third-party payers. This multidisciplinary expert consensus addresses multiple areas of variability in diagnostic ultrasound imaging and ultrasound-guided procedures related to musculoskeletal and sports medicine.

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