Pancreas deformation in the presence of tumors using feature tracking from free-breathing XD-GRASP MRI

Teodora Chitiboi, Matthew Muckley, Bari Dane, Chenchan Huang, Li Feng, Hersh Chandarana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Quantifying the biomechanical properties of pancreatic tumors could potentially help with assessment of tumor aggressiveness, prognosis, and prediction of therapy response. Purpose: To quantify respiratory-induced deformation in the pancreas and pancreatic lesions using XD-GRASP (eXtra-Dimensional Golden-angle RAdial Sparse Parallel), MRI. Study Type: Retrospective study where patients undergoing clinically indicated abdominal MRI which included free-breathing radial T1-weighted (T1W) imaging were studied. Subjects: Thirty-two patients (12 male and 20 female) including nine with pancreatic lesions constituted our study cohort. Field Strength/Sequence: 3.0 T with T1WI contrast-enhanced gradient echo radial free-breathing acquisition. Assessment: Using the XD-GRASP imaging technique, the acquired free-breathing radial data were sorted and binned into 10 consecutive respiratory motion states that were jointly reconstructed. 3D deformation fields along the respiratory dimension were computed using an optical flow method and were analyzed in the pancreas. Statistical Tests: The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to assess the difference in average displacement across pancreatic regions, while the Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used for displacement differences between patients with and without tumors. The interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was computed to assess consistency between observers for each image quality measure. Results: There was a significantly larger displacement in the pancreatic tail compared with the head (8.2 ± 3.7 mm > 5.8 ± 2.4 mm; P < 0.001) and body regions (8.2 ± 3.7 mm > 6.6 ± 2.9 mm; P < 0.001). Furthermore, there was reduced normalized average displacement in patients with pancreatic lesions compared with subjects without lesions (0.33 ± 0.1 < 0.69 ± 0.26, P < 0.001 for the head; 0.30 ± 0.1 < 0.84 ± 0.31, P < 0.001 for the body; and 0.44 ± 0.31 < 1.08 ± 0.53, P < 0.001 for the tail, respectively). Data Conclusion: Free-breathing respiratory motion-sorted XD-GRASP MRI has the potential to noninvasively characterize the biomechanical properties of the pancreas by quantifying breathing-induced mechanical displacement. Level of Evidence: 4. Technical Efficacy: Stage 2. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1633–1640.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1640
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • deformation
  • free-breathing MRI
  • pancreas


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