Hepatic and splenic stiffness augmentation assessed with MR elastography in an in vivo porcine portal hypertension model

Meng Yin, Arunark Kolipaka, David A. Woodrum, Kevin J. Glaser, Anthony J. Romano, Armando Manduca, Jayant A. Talwalkar, Philip A. Araoz, Kiaran P. McGee, Nandan S. Anavekar, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose To investigate the influence of portal pressure on the shear stiffness of the liver and spleen in a well-controlled in vivo porcine model with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). A significant correlation between portal pressure and tissue stiffness could be used to noninvasively assess increased portal venous pressure (portal hypertension), which is a frequent clinical condition caused by cirrhosis of the liver and is responsible for the development of many lethal complications. Materials and Methods During multiple intraarterial infusions of Dextran-40 in three adult domestic pigs in vivo, 3D abdominal MRE was performed with left ventricle and portal catheters measuring blood pressure simultaneously. Least-squares linear regressions were used to analyze the relationship between tissue stiffness and portal pressure. Results Liver and spleen stiffness have a dynamic component that increases significantly following an increase in portal or left ventricular pressure. Correlation coefficients with the linear regressions between stiffness and pressure exceeded 0.8 in most cases. Conclusion The observed stiffness-pressure relationship of the liver and spleen could provide a promising noninvasive method for assessing portal pressure. Using MRE to study the tissue mechanics associated with portal pressure may provide new insights into the natural history and pathophysiology of hepatic diseases and may have significant diagnostic value in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • MR elastography
  • liver
  • portal pressure
  • shear stiffness
  • spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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