Magnetic resonance elastography compared with rotational rheometry for in vitro brain tissue viscoelasticity measurement
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Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an increasingly used method for non-invasive determination of tissue stiffness. MRE has shown its ability to measure in vivo elasticity or viscoelasticity depending on the chosen rheological model. However, few data exist on quantitative comparison of MRE with reference mechanical measurement techniques. MRE has only been validated on soft homogeneous gels under both Hookean elasticity and linear viscoelasticity assumptions, but comparison studies are lacking concerning viscoelastic properties of complex heterogeneous tissues. In this context, the present study aims at comparing an MRE-based method combined with a wave equation inversion algorithm to rotational rheometry. For this purpose, experiments are performed on in vitro porcine brain tissue. The dynamic behavior of shear storage (G- and loss (G′) moduli obtained by both rheometry and MRE at different frequency ranges is similar to that of linear viscoelastic properties of brain tissue found in other studies. This continuity between rheometry and MRE results consolidates the quantitative nature of values found by MRE in terms of viscoelastic parameters of soft heterogeneous tissues. Based on these results, the limits of MRE in terms of frequency range are also discussed.