Open Access
Johnson, Matthew Bryan
Area of Honors:
Biomedical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Daniel Humberto Cortes Correales, Thesis Supervisor
  • Nanyin Zhang, Honors Advisor
  • Meghan Elise Vidt, Faculty Reader
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Blood Pressure
  • Ultrasound
  • Shear Wave Elastography
  • Intramuscular Pressure
  • Muscle Stiffness
Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is the increase of intramuscular pressure within a compartment. This condition limits blood flow to the compartment, which can permanently damage the limb if not treated. ACS is often diagnosed through a combination of clinical signs. If multiple symptoms related to the condition exist, the diagnosis is confirmed by measuring intramuscular pressure (IMP). The current methods for measuring IMP are invasive and can suffer from inaccuracies, making it not ideal for diagnosing compartment syndrome. The objective of this study is to determine if measuring muscle stiffness with shear wave elastography can confirm the change in intramuscular pressure. To do this, the experiments test the viability of our procedure for inducing compartment syndrome for a short period of time. The experiments also test our method on its viability for diagnosing the syndrome. The first experiment measures muscle stiffness using shear wave elastography at different leg elevations. The first experiment also measures muscle stiffness when applying different amounts of pressure to the patient’s thigh. Changing leg elevation affects the blood pressure of the patient’s leg, which we will test to see if muscle stiffness also changes as a result. Furthermore, we will test if changing the pressure applied to the patient’s thigh will change the muscle stiffness in the leg. The second experiment tests if our methods for applying pressure to the patient’s thigh will cause an increase in intramuscular pressure. The final experiment tests if increasing intramuscular pressure through saline injection can be differentiated by measuring muscle elasticity. We predict that both methods for simulating compartment syndrome will result in an increase in intramuscular pressure, which can be diagnosed by measuring muscular stiffness. If confirmed, muscle stiffness could potentially be used as a non-invasive marker for predicting intramuscular pressure.