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Magn Reson Med. 2012 Jan;67(1):210-7. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22976. Epub 2011 May 16.

Magnetic resonance elastography of the lung parenchyma in an in situ porcine model with a noninvasive mechanical driver: correlation of shear stiffness with trans-respiratory system pressures.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


Quantification of the mechanical properties of lung parenchyma is an active field of research due to the association of this metric with normal function, disease initiation and progression. A phase contrast MRI-based elasticity imaging technique known as magnetic resonance elastography is being investigated as a method for measuring the shear stiffness of lung parenchyma. Previous experiments performed with small animals using invasive drivers in direct contact with the lungs have indicated that the quantification of lung shear modulus with (1) H based magnetic resonance elastography is feasible. This technique has been extended to an in situ porcine model with a noninvasive mechanical driver placed on the chest wall. This approach was tested to measure the change in parenchymal stiffness as a function of airway opening pressure (P(ao) ) in 10 adult pigs. In all animals, shear stiffness was successfully quantified at four different P(ao) values. Mean (±STD error of mean) pulmonary parenchyma density corrected stiffness values were calculated to be 1.48 (±0.09), 1.68 (±0.10), 2.05 (±0.13), and 2.23 (±0.17) kPa for P(ao) values of 5, 10, 15, and 20 cm H2O, respectively. Shear stiffness increased with increasing P(ao) , in agreement with the literature. It is concluded that in an in situ porcine lung shear stiffness can be quantitated with (1) H magnetic resonance elastography using a noninvasive mechanical driver and that it is feasible to measure the change in shear stiffness due to change in P(ao) .

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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