Ultrasound in medicine & biology

In vitro enamel thickness measurements with ultrasound.

PMID 25438856


In the work described here, agreement between ultrasound and histologic measurements of enamel thickness in vitro was investigated. Fifteen extracted human premolars were sectioned coronally to produce 30 sections. The enamel thickness of each specimen was measured with a 15-MHz hand-held ultrasound probe and verified with histology. The speed of sound in enamel was established. Bland-Altman analysis, intra-class correlation coefficient and Wilcoxon sign rank test were used to assess agreement. The mean speed of sound in enamel was 6191 ± 199 m s(-1). Bland-Altman limits of agreement were -0.16 to 0.18 mm when the speed of sound for each specimen was used, and -0.17 to 0.21 mm when the mean speed of sound was used. Intra-class correlation coefficient agreement was 0.97, and the Wilcoxon sign rank test yielded a p-value of 0.55. Using the speed of sound for each specimen results in more accurate measurement of enamel thickness. Ultrasound measurements were in good agreement with histology, which highlights its potential for monitoring the progressive loss of enamel thickness in erosive tooth surface loss.