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Br J Radiol. 1994 Nov;67(803):1096-102.

Ultrasound quantitation of respiratory organ motion in the upper abdomen.

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Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust, UK.


Organ motion can cause artefacts in abdominal imaging particularly with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and may often limit the diagnostic quality of an image. If spatial resolution and image quality are to improve in MRI and other imaging techniques, a more detailed understanding of organ motion is required. Despite the importance of organ motion little quantitative information is available to date. This study was the continuation of work instigated to investigate and quantify respiratory movements of upper abdominal organs for a group of healthy volunteers in order to provide the design criteria for a motion test object for use in MRI. A previous phase of the project allowed construction of a test object but refinements were needed to represent respiratory motion more closely as a consequence of the data presented in this paper. Improvements in the scanning technique and the recording procedure have revealed that, contrary to our initial findings, motion of the diaphragm and liver is predominantly in the superior-inferior (SI) direction with an average displacement (+/- SD) (quiet respiration) of 12 +/- 7 mm (range 7-28 mm) and 10 +/- 8 mm (range 5-17 mm), respectively. For some volunteers, motion of the kidneys can be complex, especially during deep inspiration. New data have been provided by this phase of the motion study on the displacement, velocity and acceleration of abdominal organs as a function of time. These data show that MRI motion artefact reduction techniques which assume that either organ displacement, velocity or acceleration are constant are only applicable during certain phases of the respiratory cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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