Waveguide effects and implications for cardiac magnetic resonance elastography: A finite element study

A. Manduca, T. L. Rossman, D. S. Lake, K. J. Glaser, A. Arani, S. P. Arunachalam, P. J. Rossman, J. D. Trzasko, R. L. Ehman, D. Dragomir-Daescu, P. A. Araoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is increasingly being applied to thin or small structures in which wave propagation is dominated by waveguide effects, which can substantially bias stiffness results with common processing approaches. The purpose of this work was to investigate the importance of such biases and artifacts on MRE inversion results in: (i) various idealized 2D and 3D geometries with one or more dimensions that are small relative to the shear wavelength; and (ii) a realistic cardiac geometry. Finite element models were created using simple 2D geometries as well as a simplified and a realistic 3D cardiac geometry, and simulated displacements acquired by MRE from harmonic excitations from 60 to 220 Hz across a range of frequencies. The displacement wave fields were inverted with direct inversion of the Helmholtz equation with and without the application of bandpass filtering and/or the curl operator to the displacement field. In all geometries considered, and at all frequencies considered, strong biases and artifacts were present in inversion results when the curl operator was not applied. Bandpass filtering without the curl was not sufficient to yield accurate recovery. In the 3D geometries, strong biases and artifacts were present in 2D inversions even when the curl was applied, while only 3D inversions with application of the curl yielded accurate recovery of the complex shear modulus. These results establish that taking the curl of the wave field and performing a full 3D inversion are both necessary steps for accurate estimation of the shear modulus both in simple thin-walled or small structures and in a realistic cardiac geometry when using simple inversions that neglect the hydrostatic pressure term. In practice, sufficient wave amplitude, signal-to-noise ratio, and resolution will be required to achieve accurate results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3996
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • MR elastography
  • cardiac MRE
  • cardiac elastography
  • elastography
  • finite element modeling
  • myocardial stiffness
  • shear waves
  • waveguide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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