Decreased tissue stiffness in glioblastoma by MR elastography is associated with increased cerebral blood flow

Siri Fløgstad Svensson*, Elies Fuster-Garcia, Anna Latysheva, Jorunn Fraser-Green, Wibeke Nordhøy, Omar Isam Darwish, Ivar Thokle Hovden, Sverre Holm, Einar O. Vik-Mo, Ralph Sinkus, Kyrre Eeg Emblem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Understanding how mechanical properties relate to functional changes in glioblastomas may help explain different treatment response between patients. The aim of this study was to map differences in biomechanical and functional properties between tumor and healthy tissue, to assess any relationship between them and to study their spatial distribution. Methods: Ten patients with glioblastoma and 17 healthy subjects were scanned using MR Elastography, perfusion and diffusion MRI. Stiffness and viscosity measurements G′ and G′′, cerebral blood flow (CBF), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were measured in patients’ contrast-enhancing tumor, necrosis, edema, and gray and white matter, and in gray and white matter for healthy subjects. A regression analysis was used to predict CBF as a function of ADC, FA, G′ and G′′. Results: Median G′ and G′′ in contrast-enhancing tumor were 13% and 37% lower than in normal-appearing white matter (P < 0.01), and 8% and 6% lower in necrosis than in contrast-enhancing tumor, respectively (P < 0.05). Tumors showed both inter-patient and intra-patient heterogeneity. Measurements approached values in normal-appearing tissue when moving outward from the tumor core, but abnormal tissue properties were still present in regions of normal-appearing tissue. Using both a linear and a random-forest model, prediction of CBF was improved by adding MRE measurements to the model (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The inclusion of MRE measurements in statistical models helped predict perfusion, with stiffer tissue associated with lower perfusion values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110136
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Brain tumor
  • Glioblastoma
  • Magnetic Resonance Elastography
  • Tumor stiffness
  • Viscoelastic properties


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