Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


The ‘chicken-egg-model’: a simple in vitro model for 3D-ultrasonography and elastography

M. Vanthienen1, K. Dewilde1, T. Van den Bosch1,2

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium
2 Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium.


3D-ultrasound, elastography, chicken-egg-model

Published online: Jan 27 2023


Background: Three-dimensional ultrasound (3D-ultrasound) and elastography are imaging techniques facilitating the diagnosis of gynaecological diseases and uterine anomalies. These non-invasive ultrasound applications may be of important added diagnostic value in gynaecological ultrasonography.

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to develop a simple and cheap in vitro model for elastography and 3D-ultrasound, with an adaptable probe-target distance. The target should be visible within the model and its hardness should be modifiable. The orientation and inclination of the model should also be adjustable.

Materials and Methods: We used a boiled chicken egg in a gel basis as this mimics the elastic properties of human tissues. Different boiling times were compared with the stiffness at elastography. Both 3D-ultrasonography and strain elastography were conducted with a Voluson™ E10 4-9 MHz vaginal probe.

Results: Altering the eggs’ boiling times modulates the levels of stiffness, and hence the aspect on elastography.

Conclusions: Our model can help trainees to practice acquisition and interpretation of elastography images. This cheap and easy-to-reproduce, in vitro “chicken-egg-model” allows for education and training of 3D-ultrasound and elastography, without causing discomfort to patients.

What’s new? We created a cheap and easy to reproduce in vitro model for the education of 3D-ultrasound and elastography.