Intra-patient comparison of 3D and 2D magnetic resonance elastography techniques for assessment of liver stiffness

Roberta Catania*, Camila Lopes Vendrami, Bradley D. Bolster, Richard Niemzcura, Amir A. Borhani, Frank H. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate performance of 3D magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) using spin-echo echo-planar imaging (seEPI) for assessment of hepatic stiffness compared with 2D gradient-recalled echo (GRE) and 2D seEPI sequences. Methods: Fifty-seven liver MRE examinations including 2D GRE, 2D seEPI, and 3D seEPI sequences were retrospectively evaluated. Elastograms were analyzed by 2 radiologists and polygonal regions of interests (ROIs) were drawn in 2 different fashions: “curated” ROI (avoiding liver edge, major vessels, and areas of wave interferences) and “non-curated” ROI (including largest cross section of liver, to assess the contribution of artifacts). Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) was calculated as the arithmetic mean of individual stiffness values for each technique. For 3D MRE, LSMs were also calculated based on 4 slices (“abbreviated LSM”). Intra-patient variations in LSMs and different methods of ROI placement were assessed by univariate tests. A p-value of < 0.05 was set as a statistically significant difference. Results: Mean surface areas of the ROIs were 50,723 mm2, 12,669 mm2, 5814 mm2, and 10,642 mm2 for 3D MRE, abbreviated 3D MRE, 2D GRE, and 2D seEPI, respectively. 3D LSMs based on curated and non-curated ROIs showed no clinically significant difference, with a mean difference less than 0.1 kPa. Abbreviated 3D LSMs had excellent correlation with 3D LSMs based on all slices (r = 0.9; p < 0.001) and were not significantly different (p = 0.927). Conclusion: 3D MRE allows more reproducible measurements due to its lower susceptibility to artifacts and provides larger areas of parenchyma, enabling a more comprehensive evaluation of the liver. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1008
Number of pages11
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • 2D MRE
  • 3D MRE
  • Fibrosis
  • Liver
  • MR elastography
  • Non-invasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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