Reliability of magnetic resonance elastography using multislice two-dimensional spin-echo echo-planar imaging (SE-EPI) and three-dimensional inversion reconstruction for assessing renal stiffness

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2015 Sep;42(3):844-50. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24826. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Background: To evaluate the reliability of MRE using a spin-echo echo-planar imaging (SE-EPI) renal MRE technique in healthy volunteers.

Methods: Institutional review board approved prospective study in which all participants provided written informed consent. Sixteen healthy volunteers comprising seven males and nine females with a median age of 35 years (age range: 23 to 59 years) were included. Coronal 90 Hz and 60 Hz MRE acquisitions were performed twice within a 30-min interval between examinations. Renal MRE reliability was assessed by (i) test-retest repeatability, and (ii) inter-rater agreement between two independent readers. The MRE-measured averaged renal stiffness values were evaluated using: intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), Bland-Altman and the within-subject coefficient of variation (COV).

Results: For test-retest repeatability, Bland-Altman showed a mean stiffness difference between examinations of 0.07 kPa (95% limits of agreement: -1.41, 1.54) at 90 Hz and 0.01 kPa (95% limits of agreement: -0.51, 0.53) at 60 Hz. Coefficient of repeatability was 1.47 kPa and 0.52 kPa at 90 Hz and 60 Hz, respectively. The within-subject COV was 13.6% and 7.7% at 90 Hz and 60 Hz, respectively. ICC values were 0.922 and 0.907 for test-retest repeatability and 0.998 and 0.989 for inter-rater agreement, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: SE-EPI renal MRE is a reliable technique.

Keywords: diagnostic reliability; kidneys; magnetic resonance elastography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Echo-Planar Imaging*
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult