Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) for measurement of muscle stiffness of the shoulder: Feasibility with a 3 T MRI system

Sun Hwa Hong, Suk Joo Hong, Joon Shik Yoon, Chang Hyun Oh, Jang Gyu Cha, Hee Kyung Kim, Bradley Bolster

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Background Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) at 3 T MR has the potential to improve the objective detection of skeletal muscle stiffness. Purpose To determine the feasibility of MRE using 3 T MR for measurement of the stiffness of shoulder muscles in subjects. Material and Methods This study prospectively evaluated 16 healthy subjects (mean age, 29.8 years; range, 25-51 years). MRE was acquired with 3 T MR through the use of a 2D-gradient-echo-based MRE sequence at two different excitation frequencies (90 and 120 Hz). The mean stiffness values (MSV) of the trapezius and infraspinatus muscles were measured by two radiologists. Differences between the MSV in the x, y, and z motion-sensitization directions were assessed. Inter-observer agreement was also measured. Results The MSV of the trapezius muscle were 2.72 kPa ± 0.6 (SD) at 90 Hz and 4.66 kPa ± 1.2 at 120 Hz, while the MSV for the infraspinatus muscle were 3.2 kPa ± 0.52 at 90 Hz and 4.38 kPa ± 0.92 at 120 Hz. The MSV for both muscles were significantly higher at 120 Hz than at 90 Hz (P < 0.05). The MSV in the three different directions were significantly different from each other in the infraspinatus muscle (P < 0.05). Levels of inter-observer agreement regarding MSV were good to excellent for both the trapezius (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.979-0.996) and infraspinatus muscles (ICC = 0.614-0.943). Conclusion MRE at 3 T is a feasible technique for the evaluation of shoulder muscle stiffness. Extended application of skeletal muscle MRE at 3 T will contribute to the evaluation and treatment of skeletal muscle disorders. h

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1099-1106
    Number of pages8
    JournalActa Radiologica
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 1

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © The Foundation Acta Radiologica 2015.


    • 3 Tesla
    • Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)
    • shoulder
    • skeletal muscle

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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