JOURNAL ARTICLE

MR elastography: Spleen stiffness measurements in healthy volunteers—preliminary experience

Lorenzo Mannelli, Edmund Godfrey, Ilse Joubert, Andrew J Patterson, Martin J Graves, Ferdia A Gallagher, David J Lomas
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 2010, 195 (2): 387-92
20651194

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to establish the range of normal splenic stiffness in healthy volunteers using MR elastography (MRE) and to investigate any correlation with physiologic parameters and driver position.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixteen volunteers (mean [+/- SD] age, 37 +/- 9 years) with no history of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, or cardiovascular disease were recruited. The MRI protocol included T2-weighted axial and gradient-echo MRE sequences using steady-state 60-Hz excitation. Two MRE acquisitions were performed, one with the driver placed on the right side of the abdomen and the other with the driver placed on the left side. Volunteers' body mass index (BMI), arterial mean blood pressure, age, spleen volume, and liver stiffness were also determined. Two radiologists independently measured the spleen stiffness on the MRE inversion images. The correlations between spleen stiffness and BMI, arterial mean blood pressure, age, spleen volume, and liver stiffness were quantified.

RESULTS: Sixteen volunteers underwent MRE. With the driver placed on the right side of the abdomen, the mean splenic stiffness was 3,565 +/- 586 Pa (range, 2,353-4,442 Pa); with the driver on the left side of the abdomen, the mean splenic stiffness was significantly (p < 0.004) different (4,255 +/- 625 Pa; range, 3,194-5,581 Pa). No significant correlation was found between spleen stiffness and BMI, arterial mean blood pressure, age, spleen volume, and liver stiffness (all p > 0.05)

CONCLUSION: These preliminary results in a small number of healthy volunteers show that spleen stiffness is not significantly correlated with BMI, arterial mean blood pressure, spleen volume, or liver stiffness. A significant difference was observed using different driver positions.

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