An Ultrasound Vibro-Elastography Technique for Assessing Papilledema

Boran Zhou, John J. Chen, Arash Kazemi, Arthur J. Sit, Xiaoming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Papilledemais optic nerve swelling caused by increased intracranial hypertension, which has the potential to cause significant vision loss. Papilledema from idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is typically bilateral and symmetric, but can be asymmetric and even unilateral. The purpose of this study was to develop ultrasound vibro-elastography (UVE) for non-invasive measurement of ocular tissue wave speed for patients with papilledema. A total of 9 patients with papilledema from IIH and 9 age-matched healthy control patients were enrolled in this study. A local, gentle, 0.1-s harmonic vibration was applied on the eyelid to generate wave propagation in the ocular tissue. We used 3 excitation frequencies of 100, 150 and 200 Hz to measure the wave speeds. A 6.4-MHz ultrasound probe was used to non-invasively measure wave propagation in the ocular structures. Wave speeds were analyzed in the posterior sclera of the maculae of the eyes. The magnitudes of wave speed at each frequency of the IIH patients’ posterior sclera were significantly higher than those of healthy patients. It was found that the magnitudes of wave speed at each frequency were statistically higher in the eyes with papilledema than in the contralateral eyes without papilledema for the patients with unilateral papilledema. UVE provides a non-invasive technique to measure the wave speed of posterior sclera, which may be useful for assessing patients with papilledema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2034-2039
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Papilledema
  • Posterior sclera
  • Ultrasound vibro-elastography
  • wave speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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