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Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a method that can visualize the propagating and standing shear waves in an object being measured. The quantitative value of a shear modulus can be calculated by estimating the local shear wavelength. Low-frequency mechanical motion must be used for soft, tissue-like objects because a propagating shear wave rapidly attenuates at a higher frequency. Moreover, a propagating shear wave is distorted by reflections from the boundaries of objects. However, the distortions are minimal around the wave front of the propagating shear wave. Therefore, we can avoid the effect of reflection on a region of interest (ROI) by adjusting the duration of mechanical vibrations. Thus, the ROI is often shorter than the propagating shear wavelength. In the MRE sequence, a motion-sensitizing gradient (MSG) is synchronized with mechanical cyclic motion. MRE images with multiple initial phase offsets can be generated with increasing delays between the MSG and mechanical vibrations. This paper proposes a method for measuring the local shear wavelength using MRE multiple initial phase patchwork offsets that can be used when the size of the object being measured is shorter than the local wavelength. To confirm the reliability of the proposed method, computer simulations, a simulated tissue study and in vitro and in vivo studies were performed.
Date of Publication: July 2003