Ultrasound Elastography and MR Elastography for Assessing Liver Fibrosis: Part 1, Principles and Techniques

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Jul;205(1):22-32. doi: 10.2214/AJR.15.14552. Epub 2015 Apr 23.


Objective: The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of ultrasound and MR elastography, including a glossary of relevant terminology, a classification of elastography techniques, and a discussion of their respective strengths and limitations.

Conclusion: Elastography is an emerging technique for the noninvasive assessment of mechanical tissue properties. These techniques report metrics related to tissue stiffness, such as shear-wave speed, magnitude of the complex shear modulus, and the Young modulus.

Keywords: MR elastography (MRE); MRI; elasticity; elastography; liver fibrosis; shear stiffness; shear wave; ultrasound; viscoelasticity; viscosity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Viscosity