High-resolution determination of soft tissue deformations using MRI and first-order texture correlation

Christopher L. Gilchrist, Jessie Q. Xia, Lori A. Setton, Edward W. Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Mechanical factors such as deformation and strain are thought to play important roles in the maintenance, repair, and degeneration of soft tissues. Determination of soft tissue static deformation has traditionally only been possible at a tissue's surface, utilizing external markers or instrumentation. Texture correlation is a displacement field measurement technique which relies on unique image patterns within a pair of digital images to track displacement. The technique has recently been applied to MR images, indicating the possibility of high-resolution displacement and strain field determination within the mid-substance of soft tissues. However, the utility of MR texture correlation analysis may vary amongst tissue types depending on their underlying structure, composition, and contrast mechanism, which give rise to variations in texture with MRI. In this study, we investigate the utility of a texture correlation algorithm with first-order displacement mapping terms for use with MR images, and suggest a novel index of image "roughness" as a way to decrease errors associated with the use of texture correlation for intra-tissue strain measurement with MRI. We find that a first-order algorithm can significantly reduce strain measurement error, and that an image "roughness" index correlates with displacement measurement error for a , variety of imaging conditions and tissue types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Biological soft tissues
  • Biomedical magnetic resonance imaging
  • Image texture analysis
  • Strain measurement
  • Texture correlation


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