Shearwave Elastography in the Evaluation of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Cross-sectional Study to Assess Iliotibial Band Morphometry and Stiffness Using Ultrasound Imaging in Runners With and Without Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome: a Feasibility Study


Lead Sponsor: Université de Sherbrooke

Source Université de Sherbrooke
Brief Summary

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a condition frequently treated in physiotherapy. The pathophysiology underlying this syndrome is still poorly understood. Ultrasound makes it possible to evaluate the morphology and to quantify, with sonoelastography (SWE), the stiffness of the iliotibial band (ITB). The objective is to determine the feasibility of a cross-sectional study aimed at evaluating the morphometry and stiffness of the ITB in runners with and without a diagnosis of ITBS. Socio-demographic and clinical data will be collected and ultrasound measurements (thickness and stiffness) of the iliotibial band will be performed in supine with the knee positioned at 2 different angles (0° and 30° flexion). Variables such as the recruitment rate/month, the inclusion/exclusion rate, the acceptability of the procedure will be used to characterize the feasibility. The relationship between ultrasound measurements and clinical outcomes will be explored. The results obtained will document feasibility issues and provide preliminary results will lay the groundwork for a large scale study.

Detailed Description

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a complex structure in which morphometry (shape, thickness, cross-sectional area) and viscoelastic properties remain poorly understood. While some hypothesize that the pain originates from friction of the ITB on the femoral condyle during knee flexion, others affirm that it is rather a compression of the ITB on the tissue underlying fat, which is highly vascularized and innervated. Current treatments in physiotherapy are based, in part, on the theory that stiffness in the ITB may contribute to iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), resulting in prescription of stretching exercises in most rehabilitation programs. However, the plausibility of this theory remains to be demonstrated with valid and reliable instruments. Standard-mode (B-mode) ultrasound is gaining popularity for assessing ITB morphometry. However, these data remain to be correlated with the clinical symptomatology. Sonoelastography (SWE), on the other hand, is used to assess tissue stiffness. Recent studies have attempted to assess the stiffness of ITB under different experimental conditions, but these have methodological flaws (low power) and they are carried out in an asymptomatic population. This project is a first step to fill the gaps on ITB morphometry and stiffness values and explore the potential association between these factors and the clinical profile of SBIT. The primary objective is to evaluate the study the feasibility of the protocol by documenting the variables associated with this concept. Secondary objectives are: 1) To measure the stiffness of the distal BIT in runners with and without ITBS; 2) Describe the morphometry of the distal BIT in the two groups of runners; 3) Compare ITB morphometry and stiffness between the two groups of runners and 4) Investigate the association between ultrasound variables and ITBS signs and symptoms.

Overall Status Recruiting
Start Date 2022-05-05
Completion Date 2023-12-01
Primary Completion Date 2022-12-01
Study Type Observational
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Recruitment rate Through study completion, an average of 9 months
Exclusion rate Through study completion, an average of 9 months
Refusal rate Through study completion, an average of 9 months
Lenght of the procedure Baseline
Cost of the study Through study completion, an average of 9 months
Acceptability of the procedure Baseline
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Morphometric ITB measures Baseline
Stiffness of ITB Baseline
Stiffness of TFL Baseline
Pain intensity Baseline
Knee pain and function questionnaires Baseline
Knee pain and function questionnaires Baseline
Muscle retraction test Baseline
Enrollment 36

Sampling Method:

Non-Probability Sample


Inclusion Criteria: - Minimum of 5km/week runs - No pain during running (for healthy runners) - For ITBS group: Received an ITBS diagnosis from a doctor or a physical therapist Exclusion Criteria: - Concomitant affection of the hip or knee (ex: previous fracture or surgery of the knee)



Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:


Healthy Volunteers:

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Nathaly Gaudreault, Pt, Ph.D Principal Investigator Université de Sherbrooke
Overall Contact

Last Name: Sonia Bédard

Phone: 1-819-346-1110

Phone Ext.: 13927

Email: [email protected]

Facility: Status: Contact: Investigator: Sonia Bédard Sonia Bédard 8196796809 [email protected] Nathaly Gaudreault, Pt, Ph.D Principal Investigator
Location Countries


Verification Date


Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Université de Sherbrooke

Investigator Full Name: Nathaly Gaudreault

Investigator Title: Researcher and Full Professor

Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Arm Group

Label: asymptomatic

Description: Runners without iliotibial band syndrome

Label: Iliotibial band syndrome

Description: Runners with iliotibial band syndrome

Patient Data Undecided
Study Design Info

Observational Model: Case-Control

Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

This information was retrieved directly from the website without any changes. If you have any requests to change, remove or update your study details, please contact [email protected]. As soon as a change is implemented on, this will be updated automatically on our website as well.

Clinical Research News