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Magnetic resonance poroelastography (MRPE) is introduced as an alternative to single-phase model-based elastographic reconstruction methods. A 3-D finite element poroelastic inversion algorithm was developed to recover the mechanical properties of fluid-saturated tissues. The performance of this algorithm was assessed through a variety of numerical experiments, using synthetic data to probe its stability and sensitivity to the relevant model parameters. Preliminary results suggest the algorithm is robust in the presence of noise and capable of producing accurate assessments of the underlying mechanical properties in simulated phantoms. Furthermore, a 3-D time-harmonic motion field was recorded for a poroelastic phantom containing a single cylindrical inclusion and used to assess the feasibility of MRPE image reconstruction from experimental data. The elastograms obtained from the proposed poroelastic algorithm demonstrate significant improvement over linearly elastic MRE images generated using the same data. In addition, MRPE offers the opportunity to estimate the time-harmonic pressure field resulting from tissue excitation, highlighting the potential for its application in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease processes associated with changes in interstitial pressure.
Date of Publication: March 2010