Last revised by Dr Subhan Iqbal on 14 Feb 2021

Elastography is a newer technique that exploits the fact that a pathological process alters the elastic properties of the involved tissue. This change in elasticity is detected and imaged using elastography.

Radiographic technique


Sono-elastography is the term used when ultrasound is used to assess elastography

MR elastography

MR elastography is the term used when MRI is used to assess tissue stiffness. It uses shear waves to assess the tissue displacement in all directions making it more precise than sonoelastography.

MR elastography has been most widely used in cases of liver fibrosis where larger lesions can be easily assessed even in the presence of ascites.


  • differentiating malignant and benign neoplasms (especially breast)
  • identifying early traumatic changes in muscles and tendons
  • aiding in deciding the biopsy site more accurately, reducing negative biopsy rates
  • assessing liver fibrosis 3
  • assessing liver steatosis (eg non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: sonoelastography of cervical lymph nodes
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