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13 March 2006 MR elastographic methods for the evaluation of plantar fat pads: preliminary comparison of the shear modulus for shearing deformation and compressive deformation in normal subjects
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Abstract
MR elastography (MRE) images the intrinsic mechanical properties of soft tissues; e.g., the shear modulus, μ. The μ of the plantar soft tissues is important in understanding the mechanisms whereby the forces induced during normal motion produce ulcers that lead to amputation in diabetic feet. We compared the compliance of the heel fat pad to compressive forces and to shearing forces. The design of prosthetics to protect the foot depends on the proper understanding of the mechanisms inducing damage. In the heel fat pads of six normal subjects, between 25 and 65 years of age, the μ for deformation perpendicular to the direction of weight bearing is similar but not identical to that determined for deformation along the weight bearing axis. The average difference between μ along the weight bearing axis and μ perpendicular to the weight bearing axis, is well correlated with age (Correlation Coefficient = 0.789). The p-value for the data being random was 0.0347 indicating that the observed difference is not likely to be random. The p-value for control points is 0.8989, indicating a random process. The results are suggestive that the high compressive forces imposed during walking damage the heel fat pads over time resulting in softening to compression preferentially over shearing. It is important to validate the observed effect with larger numbers of subjects, and better controls including measures of activity, and to understand if diseases like diabetes increase the observed damage.
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John B. Weaver, Timothy B. Miller, Philip R. Perrinez, Marvin M. Doyley, Huifang Wang, Yvonne Y. Cheung, James S. Wrobel, Richard J. Comi, Francis E. Kennedy, and Keith D. Paulsen "MR elastographic methods for the evaluation of plantar fat pads: preliminary comparison of the shear modulus for shearing deformation and compressive deformation in normal subjects", Proc. SPIE 6143, Medical Imaging 2006: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, 61430Y (13 March 2006); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.652828
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