Magnetic resonance elastography of the pancreas: Measurement reproducibility and relationship with age

Arunark Kolipaka, Samuel Schroeder, Xiaokui Mo, Zarine Shah, Phil A. Hart, Darwin L. Conwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)-derived stiffness of pancreas in healthy volunteers with emphasis on: 1) short term and midterm repeatability; and 2) variance as a function of age. Methods Pancreatic MRE was performed on 22 healthy volunteers (age range:20–64 years) in a 3 T–scanner. For evaluation of reproducibility of stiffness estimates, the scans were repeated per volunteer on the same day (short term) and one month apart (midterm). MRE wave images were analyzed using 3D inversion to estimate the stiffness of overall pancreas and different anatomic regions (i.e., head, neck, body, and tail). Concordance and Spearman correlation tests were performed to determine reproducibility of stiffness measurements and relationship to age. Results A strong concordance correlation (ρc = 0.99; p-value < 0.001) was found between short term and midterm repeatability pancreatic stiffness measurements. Additionally, the pancreatic stiffness significantly increased with age with good Spearman correlation coefficient (all ρ > 0.81; p < 0.001). The older age group (> 45 yrs) had significantly higher stiffness compared to the younger group (≤ 45 yrs) (p < 0.001). No significant difference (p > 0.05) in stiffness measurements was observed between different anatomical regions of pancreas, except neck stiffness was slightly lower (p < 0.012) compared to head and overall pancreas at month 1. Conclusion MRE-derived pancreatic stiffness measurements are highly reproducible in the short and midterm and increase linearly with age in healthy volunteers. Further studies are needed to examine these effects in patients with various pancreatic diseases to understand potential clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • MR elastography of pancreas
  • Pancreas stiffness
  • Pancreatic MRE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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