Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a new way to image the body. It works by combining MRI imaging with sound waves to create a visual map (elastogram) showing the stiffness of body tissues.

MRE is used to detect hardening of the liver caused by many kinds of chronic liver disease. MRE also has the potential to become a noninvasive way to diagnose diseases in other parts of the body.

MRE was invented at Mayo Clinic. The test is available there and at various other centers. It's usually done as part of a conventional MRI exam.

Mayo Clinic’s approach