MR elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive technique in which images of externally generated waves propagating in tissue are used to measure stiffness. The first aim is to determine, from a range of driver configurations, the optimal driver for the purpose of generating waves within the heart in vivo. The second aim is to quantify the shear stiffness of normal myocardium throughout the cardiac cycle using MRE and to compare MRE stiffness to left ventricular chamber pressure in an in vivo pig model. MRE was performed in six pigs with six different driver setups, including no motion, three noninvasive drivers, and two invasive drivers. MRE wave displacement amplitudes were calculated for each driver. During the same MRI examination, left ventricular pressure and MRI-measured left ventricular volume were obtained, and MRE myocardial stiffness was calculated for 20 phases of the cardiac cycle. No discernible waves were imaged when no external motion was applied, and a single pneumatic drum driver produced higher amplitude waves than the other noninvasive drivers (P < 0.05). Pressure-volume loops overlaid onto stiffness-volume loops showed good visual agreement. Pressure and MRE-measured effective stiffness showed good correlation (R2 = 0.84). MRE shows potential as a noninvasive method for estimating effective myocardial stiffness throughout the cardiac cycle.
- Myocardial stiffness
- Stiffness-volume loops
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging