Magnetic resonance elastography of healthy livers at 3.0 T: Normal liver stiffness measured by SE-EPI and GRE

Jae Seok Bae, Jeong Min Lee, Sae Jin Park, Kyung Bun Lee, Joon Koo Han

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Purpose: To determine the normal liver stiffness values using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) at 3.0 T and to compare spin-echo echo-planar imaging (SE-EPI) and gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) MRE. Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 54 living liver donors who had normal clinical and pathological results without underlying liver disease and underwent MRE using both SE-EPI and GRE at 3.0 T. Two radiologists placed four or six freehand regions of interest (ROI) on the elastograms and measured liver stiffness as well as the area of ROIs. The mean liver stiffness values and area of ROIs were compared between genders, among age groups, and between groups of different body mass indexes using the t-test and one-way analysis of variance, respectively. Interobserver agreement was analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficient. The mean liver stiffness values and area of ROIs were compared between SE-EPI and GRE using the paired t-test and Bland-Altman analysis. Results: The liver stiffness values in living liver donors ranged from 1.52 to 3.12 kPa on SE-EPI and 1.51 to 2.67 kPa on GRE. The mean liver stiffness values did not differ significantly according to the gender, age, and body mass index. Measurement of liver stiffness using MRE showed excellent interobserver agreement on both pulse sequences. The mean value of liver stiffness was higher on SE-EPI (2.14 ± 0.33 kPa) than on GRE (2.06 ± 0.25 kPa), and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The mean area of ROI was significantly larger with GRE (3387 mm2) than with SE-EPI (2691 mm2) (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The mean liver stiffness values in living donors measured by SE-EPI and GRE were not affected by gender, age, or body mass index and showed excellent interobserver agreement. The area of ROI was larger with GRE than with SE-EPI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Gradient-recalled-echo
  • Magnetic resonance elastography
  • Normal liver stiffness
  • Spin-echo echo-planar imaging

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