Feasibility and Reproducibility of Multifrequency Magnetic Resonance Elastography in Healthy and Diseased Pancreases

Qike Song, Yu Shi, Feng Gao, Meng Yin, Rui Yang, Yuanyuan Liu, Shiling Zhong, Yang Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The feasibility and reproducibility of multifrequency MR elastography (MRE) for diagnosing pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) have not been reported. Purpose: To determine the feasibility and reproducibility of multifrequency MRE for assessing pancreatic stiffness in healthy and diseased pancreases. Study type: Prospective. Subjects: A total of 40 healthy volunteers and 10 patients with PDAC were prospectively recruited between March 2018 and October 2021. Field strength/sequence: A 3.0-T pancreatic MRE at frequencies in the order of 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100 Hz. Assessment: Body mass index (BMI) and wave distance of the healthy pancreas and PDAC were measured. Image quality was assessed using the image quality score (IQS: 1–4, ≥3 were considered diagnostic quality). Three readers independently performed the pancreatic stiffness and IQS assessments to evaluate reproducibility. Statistical tests: Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine variables that influenced IQS. Statistical significance was set at P <0.05. Levels of inter- and intrarater agreement were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Cohen's kappa coefficient (κ). Good reproducibility was set at ICC and κ ≥ 0.8. Results: In logistic regression analysis, a diagnostic IQS in healthy volunteers was independently associated with a lower BMI (odds ratio [OR] = 0.89 kg/m−2), shorter wave distance (OR = 0.70 cm−1), and lower frequency (30 and 40 Hz: OR = 170.01 and 96.02). In PDAC, frequency was the only independent factor for diagnostic IQS (30–60 Hz: OR = 46.18, 46.18, and 17.20, respectively) with 100 Hz as a reference. In healthy volunteers, good reproducibility was observed at 30 and 40 Hz. In PDAC, good reproducibility was observed at 30–60 Hz. Data conclusion: MRE at 30 and 40 Hz provides diagnostic wave images and reliable measurements of pancreatic stiffness in healthy volunteers. MRE at 30–60 Hz is acceptable for PDACs (IQS ≥ 3, ICC and κ ≥ 0.80). Evidence Level: 1. Technical Efficacy: Stage 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1780
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • elastography
  • magnetic resonance
  • pancreas
  • pancreatic adenocarcinoma
  • shear stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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