Poroelastography is a novel elastographic technique for imaging the time variation of the mechanical behaviour of poroelastic materials. Poroelastograms are generated as a series of time-sequenced effective Poisson's ratio (EPR) elastograms, obtained from the imaged material under sustained compression. In the companion report (Righetti et al. 2007 Phys. Med. Biol. 52 1303), we investigated image quality of EPR elastography starting from a theoretical analysis of the performance limitations of axial strain elastography and lateral strain elastography. In this report, we extend this analysis to poroelastography. The theoretical analysis reported in these two companion papers allows understanding the performance limitations of these novel techniques and identifying the fundamental parameters that control their signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio and resolution. The results of these studies also indicate that EPR elastograms and poroelastograms of reasonable image quality can be generated in practical applications that may be of clinical interest provided that advanced elastographic techniques in combination with other commonly employed imaging methods to increase signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios are used. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.