MRE in inflammatory neurological diseases


Helge Herthum, Ingolf Sack


High-Resolution magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) allows the investigation of spatially localized inflammatory processes in various organs and as well in the brain [1] [2]. This project aims at understanding the underlying mechanical-structural changes accompanying progressive inflammatory disease like multiple sclerosis. Viscoelastic properties of brain tissue can serve as a quantitative marker for monitoring disease progress and give new insights into pathologic features of multiple sclerosis (MS) [3]. Since magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as the most important tool for MS diagnosis, MRE can be integrated easily in the clinical workflow and yields important additional information [3]. The sensitivity of MRE to focal demyelinated plaques within the CNS needs to be investigated further to enable the reliable differentiation between active and late chronic lesions inside the brain parenchyma.

The project is supported by the German Research Foundation.


  1. Dittmann, F., et al., In Vivo Wideband Multifrequency MR Elastography of the Human Brain and Liver. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2016. 76(4): p. 1116-1126.
  2. Streitberger, K.J., et al., Brain Viscoelasticity Alteration in Chronic-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Plos One, 2012. 7(1).
  3. Fehlner, A., et al., Higher-Resolution MR Elastography Reveals Early Mechanical Signatures of Neuroinflammation in Patients with Clinically Isolated Syndrome. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2016. 44(1): p. 51-58.


Figure: T2-FLAIR with visible MS Lesions