Ephraim I. Ben-Abraham1, Jun Chen1, Richard L. Ehman1
1Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
Low back pain (LBP) is a very costly and prevalent health disorder in the U.S. One of the most common causes of LBP is degenerative disc disease (DDD). There are many techniques to characterize disc degeneration; however there is no way to directly assess the material properties of the intervertebral disc within the intact spine. Shear stiffness may be a more sensitive measure for DDD than current methods. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of using MRE to detect shear wave propagation in the intervertebral disc, and compare the experimental results with a finite element model of disc MRE.