Mechanical transient-based magnetic resonance elastography

Paul J. McCracken, Armando Manduca, Joel Felmlee, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a technique for quantifying material properties by measuring cyclic displacements of propagating shear waves. As an alternative to dynamic harmonic wave MRE or quasi-steady-state methods, the idea of using a transient impulse for mechanical excitation is introduced. Two processing methods to calculate shear stiffness from transient data were developed. The techniques were tested in phantom studies, and the transient results were found to be comparable to the harmonic wave results. Transient wave based analysis was applied to the brains of six healthy volunteers in order to assess the method in areas of complex wave patterns and geometry. The results demonstrated the feasibility of measuring brain stiffness in vivo using a transient mechanical excitation. Transient and harmonic methods both measure white matter (∼12 kPa) to be stiffer than gray matter (∼8 kPa). There were some anatomic differences between harmonic and transient MRE, specifically where the transient results better depicted the deeper structures of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-639
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Brain
  • Elasticity
  • Elastography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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