A preliminary study of the local biomechanical environment of liver tumors in vivo

Shengyuan Ma, Mo Zhu, Xiaolong Xia, Liang Guo, Guy M. Genin, Michael S. Sacks, Mingyuan Gao, Sasa Mutic, Yanle Hu, Chun hong Hu, Yuan Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Biomechanical properties can be used as biomarkers to diagnose tumors, monitor tumor development, and evaluate treatment efficacy. The purpose of this preliminary study is to characterize the biomechanical environment of two typical liver tumors, hemangiomas (HEMs) and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), and to investigate the potential of using strain metrics as biomarkers for tumor diagnosis, based on a limited clinical dataset. Methods: Magnetic resonance (MR) tagging was used to quantify the motion and deformation of the two types of liver tumors. Displacements of the tumors arising from a heartbeat were measured over one cardiac cycle. Local biomechanical conditions of the tumors were characterized by estimating two principal strains (ε1 and ε2) and an octahedral shear strain (εsoct) of the tumor and its peripheral region. Biomechanical conditions of the tumors were compared with those of the arbitrarily selected regions from healthy volunteers. Results: We observed that the HCCs had significantly smaller strain values compared to their peripheral tissues. However, the HEMs did not have significantly different strains from those of the peripheral tissues, and were similar to healthy liver regions. The sensitivity of using ε1, ε2, and εsoct to diagnose HCC were all 1, while the sensitivity of using ε1, ε2, and εsoct to diagnose HEM were 0.67, 0.17, and 0.67, respectively. Conclusions: Lagrangian strain metrics provide insight into the biomechanical conditions of certain liver tumors in the human body and may provide another perspective for tumor characterization and diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1739
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Lagrangian strain
  • MR tagging
  • biomechanics
  • displacement
  • liver cancer

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