A Study of Chiari Malformation Using Magnetic Resonance Elastography

Open Access
Veledar, Osman
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Corina Stefania Drapaca, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jun Huang, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd Copley, Faculty Reader
  • MRE
  • MRI
  • Chiari
  • Matlab
  • Stiffness
  • Imaging
  • Diagnostics
Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE), also called palpation by imaging, is a non-invasive, in vivo imaging technique used to measure the elasticity of a biological tissue subject to dynamic or static mechanical stress. The resulting strains are measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the related elastic modulus is computed from models of tissue mechanics. Such a technique can be used not only as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for tumor detection, but also for gaining fundamental knowledge about the in vivo mechanical properties of normal biological tissues. In particular, brain MRE using the natural pulsations of the brain will help us better understand the brain mechanics. In this thesis we will investigate the changes in the stiffness of the brain tissue due to the presence of chiari malformations. We will use magnetic resonance images from Hershey College of Medicine of brains of patients with chiari malformations before and after the surgery to show that the brain tissue appears to be stiffer and more inhomogeneous before surgery, when the chiari malformation impedes the proper circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and that it is softer and more homogeneous after the surgery, with stiffness values close to normal ones known from in vivo MRE experiments.