Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a magnetic resonance imaging-based technique for quantitatively assessing the mechanical properties of tissues based on the propagation of shear waves. Multiple studies have described many potential applications of MRE, from characterizing tumors to detecting diffuse disease processes. Studies have shown that MRE can be successfully implemented to assess abdominal organs. The first clinical application of MRE to be well documented is the detection and characterization of hepatic fibrosis, which systematically increases the stiffness of liver tissue. In this diagnostic role, it offers a safer, less expensive, and potentially more accurate alternative to invasive liver biopsy. Emerging results suggest that measurements of liver and spleen stiffness may provide an indirect way to assess portal hypertension. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that it is possible to use MRE to evaluate the mechanical properties of other abdominal structures, such as the pancreas and kidneys. Steady technical progress in developing practical protocols for applying MRE in the abdomen and the pelvis provides opportunities to explore many other potential applications of this emerging technology.
- Abdominal MR elastography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging