Magn Reson Med 2018 12 17;80(6):2573-2585. Epub 2018 May 17.
Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.
Purpose: To introduce newly developed MR elastography (MRE)-based dual-saturation imaging and dual-sensitivity motion encoding schemes to directly measure in vivo skull-brain motion, and to study the skull-brain coupling in volunteers with these approaches.
Methods: Six volunteers were scanned with a high-performance compact 3T-MRI scanner. The skull-brain MRE images were obtained with a dual-saturation imaging where the skull and brain motion were acquired with fat- and water-suppression scans, respectively. A dual-sensitivity motion encoding scheme was applied to estimate the heavily wrapped phase in skull by the simultaneous acquisition of both low- and high-sensitivity phase during a single MRE exam. The low-sensitivity phase was used to guide unwrapping of the high-sensitivity phase. The amplitude and temporal phase delay of the rigid-body motion between the skull and brain was measured, and the skull-brain interface was visualized by slip interface imaging (SII).
Results: Both skull and brain motion can be successfully acquired and unwrapped. The skull-brain motion analysis demonstrated the motion transmission from the skull to the brain is attenuated in amplitude and delayed. However, this attenuation (%) and delay (rad) were considerably greater with rotation (59 ± 7%, 0.68 ± 0.14 rad) than with translation (92 ± 5%, 0.04 ± 0.02 rad). With SII the skull-brain slip interface was not completely evident, and the slip pattern was spatially heterogeneous.
Conclusion: This study provides a framework for acquiring in vivo voxel-based skull and brain displacement using MRE that can be used to characterize the skull-brain coupling system for understanding of mechanical brain protection mechanisms, which has potential to facilitate risk management for future injury.