ISSN: 1899-0967
Polish Journal of Radiology
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vol. 87
Musculoskeletal radiology
Original paper

Evaluation of the plantar fascia in patients with diabetes mellitus: the role of sonoelastography

Sneha Harish C.
Rashmi Dixit
Sapna Singh
Sandeep Garg

Maulana Azad Medical College and associated Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, Delhi, India
© Pol J Radiol 2022; 87: e500-e505
Online publish date: 2022/09/09
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It has been postulated that hyperglycaemic non-enzymatic glycation of proteins with subsequent accumulation of glycosylated end-products in tissues like the plantar fascia (PF) contributes to the development of foot ulcers in diabetics. The present study evaluates the spectrum of sonoelastographic findings in the plantar fascia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

Material and methods
A total of 81 patients and 32 healthy volunteers were included in the study. PF thickness was registered 1 cm distal to the attachment at the calcaneus. Greyscale ultrasonographic examination was followed by strain elastography of the PF based on which PF were qualitatively categorized into 3 grades (hard, intermediate, soft) depending on their predominant colour.

Patients were found to have thicker PF than healthy volunteers (p < 0.0001). Grade 2 (intermediate elasticity) PF was the most common type seen in both groups (48.44% of healthy volunteers and 57.25% of patients). However, a greater number of patients (36.64%) had grade 3, i.e. soft PF as compared to healthy volunteers (9.38%).

To conclude, there is thickening and softening of the PF in patients with type 2 DM, supporting the hypo­thesis that diabetes-induced changes occur in the tissues of the foot.


diabetic foot, diabetes mellitus, plantar fascia, strain elastography

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