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Phys Med Biol. 2011 Jul 7;56(13):N153-64. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/13/N02. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

An octahedral shear strain-based measure of SNR for 3D MR elastography.

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  • 1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


A signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measure based on the octahedral shear strain (the maximum shear strain in any plane for a 3D state of strain) is presented for magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), where motion-based SNR measures are commonly used. The shear strain, γ, is directly related to the shear modulus, μ, through the definition of shear stress, τ = μγ. Therefore, noise in the strain is the important factor in determining the quality of motion data, rather than the noise in the motion. Motion and strain SNR measures were found to be correlated for MRE of gelatin phantoms and the human breast. Analysis of the stiffness distributions of phantoms reconstructed from the measured motion data revealed a threshold for both strain and motion SNR where MRE stiffness estimates match independent mechanical testing. MRE of the feline brain showed significantly less correlation between the two SNR measures. The strain SNR measure had a threshold above which the reconstructed stiffness values were consistent between cases, whereas the motion SNR measure did not provide a useful threshold, primarily due to rigid body motion effects.

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