The lung is a structurally hierarchical, highly complex organ in which form and function are determined by a delicate balance between intrinsic and extrinsic mechanical forces. Magnetic resonance elastograpy (MRE) therefore provides a unique opportunity to non-invasively study this balance and its affect on parenchymal stiffness in both normal and diseased lungs. However, lung MRE is particularly challenging due to factors such as low signal-to-noise, organ motion, and the ability to non-invasively generate shear waves with the lung. This chapter describes the challenges, recent advances, and the potential for MRE as a new non-invasive diagnostic probe of the mechanical properties of the lung.
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