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Proceedings Paper

Development of a diaphragmatic motion-based elastography framework for assessment of liver stiffness
Author(s): Jared A. Weis; Allison M. Johnsen; Geoffrey E. Wile; Thomas E. Yankeelov; Richard G. Abramson; Michael I. Miga
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Paper Abstract

Evaluation of mechanical stiffness imaging biomarkers, through magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), has shown considerable promise for non-invasive assessment of liver stiffness to monitor hepatic fibrosis. MRE typically requires specialized externally-applied vibratory excitation and scanner-specific motion-sensitive pulse sequences. In this work, we have developed an elasticity imaging approach that utilizes natural diaphragmatic respiratory motion to induce deformation and eliminates the need for external deformation excitation hardware and specialized pulse sequences. Our approach uses clinically-available standard of care volumetric imaging acquisitions, combined with offline model-based post-processing to generate volumetric estimates of stiffness within the liver and surrounding tissue structures. We have previously developed a novel methodology for non-invasive elasticity imaging which utilizes a model-based elasticity reconstruction algorithm and MR image volumes acquired under different states of deformation. In prior work, deformation was external applied through inflation of an air bladder placed within the MR radiofrequency coil. In this work, we extend the methodology with the goal of determining the feasibility of assessing liver mechanical stiffness using diaphragmatic respiratory motion between end-inspiration and end-expiration breath-holds as a source of deformation. We present initial investigations towards applying this methodology to assess liver stiffness in healthy volunteers and cirrhotic patients. Our preliminary results suggest that this method is capable of non-invasive image-based assessment of liver stiffness using natural diaphragmatic respiratory motion and provides considerable enthusiasm for extension of our approach towards monitoring liver stiffness in cirrhotic patients with limited impact to standard-of-care clinical imaging acquisition workflow.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9417, Medical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 941703 (19 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2081257
Show Author Affiliations
Jared A. Weis, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Allison M. Johnsen, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Geoffrey E. Wile, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Thomas E. Yankeelov, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Richard G. Abramson, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Michael I. Miga, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9417:
Medical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
Barjor Gimi; Robert C. Molthen, Editor(s)

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