MR elastography–based slip interface imaging (SII) for functional assessment of myofascial interfaces: A feasibility study

Emi Hojo, Yi Sui, Xiang Shan, Keni Zheng, Phillip Rossman, Armando Manduca, Garret M. Powell, Kai Nan An, Kristin D. Zhao, Brent A. Bauer, Richard L. Ehman, Ziying Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Abnormal adherence at functional myofascial interfaces is hypothesized as an important phenomenon in myofascial pain syndrome. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of MR elastography (MRE)–based slip interface imaging (SII) to visualize and assess myofascial mobility in healthy volunteers. Methods: SII was used to assess local shear strain at functional myofascial interfaces in the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) and thighs. In the FDP, MRE was performed at 90 Hz vibration to each index, middle, ring, and little finger. Two thigh MRE scans were performed at 40 Hz with knees flexed and extended. The normalized octahedral shear strain (NOSS) maps were calculated to visualize myofascial slip interfaces. The entropy of the probability distribution of the gradient NOSS was computed for the two knee positions at the intermuscular interface between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius, around rectus femoris, and between vastus intermedius and vastus medialis. Results: NOSS map depicted distinct functional slip interfaces in the FDP for each finger. Compared to knee flexion, clearer slip interfaces and larger gradient NOSS entropy at the vastus lateralis–vastus intermedius interface were observed during knee extension, where the quadriceps are not passively stretched. This suggests the optimal position for using SII to visualize myofascial slip interface in skeletal muscles is when muscles are not subjected to any additional force. Conclusion: The study demonstrated that MRE-based SII can visualize and assess myofascial interface mobility in extremities. The results provide a foundation for investigating the hypothesis that myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by changes in the mobility of myofascial interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-687
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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