Magnetic resonance elastography from fundamental soft-tissue mechanics to diagnostic imaging
There is news from the SFB 1340: The paper of Prof. Dr. Ingolf Sack, project leader of the subprojects A01 and B05 has been published in the renowned journal 'Nature Reviews Physics'.
Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a versatile imaging technique for mapping the viscoelastic properties of soft biological tissues. It has been widely used to detect liver fibrosis and is increasingly being used in the diagnosis of other diseases ranging from cancer to chronic kidney diseases. Many pathologies are associated with or even caused by changes in mechanical properties. For example, fibrosis, hypertension, cellular oedema and hyperplasia have been shown to increase tissue stiffness, and neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, hypoperfusion and necrosis are associated with softening. Beyond stiffness, measurement of viscosity provides a rich, still widely unexplored, source of image contrast in MRE that is related to intrinsic mechanical friction and the fluid behaviour of soft tissues. This Review summarizes the basic technical concepts of MRE — including hardware requirements, excitation and encoding of harmonic motions and inverse problem solutions to viscoelastic theory — and outlines preclinical and clinical applications in cancer, renal disease and cardiac MRE.
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