Purpose: To develop and test a magnetic resonance imaging-based method for assessing the mechanical shear connectivity across tissue interfaces with phantom experiments and in vivo feasibility studies. Materials and Methods: External vibrations were applied to phantoms and tissue and the differential motion on either side of interfaces within the media was mapped onto the phase of the MR images using cyclic motion encoding gradients. The phase variations within the voxels of functional slip interfaces reduced the net magnitude signal in those regions, thus enhancing their visualization. A simple two-compartment model was developed to relate this signal loss to the intravoxel phase variations. In vivo studies of the abdomen and forearm were performed to visualize slip interfaces in healthy volunteers. Results: The phantom experiments demonstrated that the proposed technique can assess the functionality of shear slip interfaces and they provided experimental validation for the theoretical model developed. Studies of the abdomen showed that the slip interface between the small bowel and the peritoneal wall can be visualized. In the forearm, this technique was able to depict the slip interfaces between the functional compartments of the extrinsic forearm muscles. Conclusion: Functional shear slip interfaces can be visualized sensitively using cyclic motion encoding of externally applied tissue vibrations.
- Cyclic motion encoding
- Magnetic resonance elastography
- Shear line imaging
- Slip interfaces
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging