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Quantitative Elasticity Imaging - Porosity and Permeability

G Fromageu, G Berry, JC Bamber; in collaboration with P Barbone, Boston University; A Oberai, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; JR Yarnold, Section of Radiotherapy; PS Mortimer, Department of Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St. George’s Hospital Medical School

Source of funding: EPSRC, Boston University, CenSSIS

Tissues are poroelastic, that is, when they are squeezed the free fluid that they contain may be induced to move, producing a time-dependent strain field inside the tissue which can reveal new information related to the permeability to fluid and the volume of mobile fluid. Important properties may become measurable, such as microvessel density, the permeability for the interstitial and microvascular compartments, and the exchange of fluid between them. 

We have demonstrated that the depth and time-dependence of axial strain in limbs of patients suffering from lymphoedema displays characteristics of a layered elastic-poroelastic-elastic structure, which is exaggerated in the limbs affected by lymphoedema. Having shown the importance of having 3D data in this context we are currently conducting a new clinical lymphoedema detection trial using the 3D elastography technique described above.