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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2013 Apr;32(4):711-8. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2012.2234760. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Extended Kalman filtering for continuous volumetric MR-temperature imaging.

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Imaging Division, UMC Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Real time magnetic resonance (MR) thermometry has evolved into the method of choice for the guidance of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) interventions. For this role, MR-thermometry should preferably have a high temporal and spatial resolution and allow observing the temperature over the entire targeted area and its vicinity with a high accuracy. In addition, the precision of real time MR-thermometry for therapy guidance is generally limited by the available signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the influence of physiological noise. MR-guided HIFU would benefit of the large coverage volumetric temperature maps, including characterization of volumetric heating trajectories as well as near- and far-field heating. In this paper, continuous volumetric MR-temperature monitoring was obtained as follows. The targeted area was continuously scanned during the heating process by a multi-slice sequence. Measured data and a priori knowledge of 3-D data derived from a forecast based on a physical model were combined using an extended Kalman filter (EKF). The proposed reconstruction improved the temperature measurement resolution and precision while maintaining guaranteed output accuracy. The method was evaluated experimentally ex vivo on a phantom, and in vivo on a porcine kidney, using HIFU heating. On the in vivo experiment, it allowed the reconstruction from a spatio-temporally under-sampled data set (with an update rate for each voxel of 1.143 s) to a 3-D dataset covering a field of view of 142.5×285×54 mm(3) with a voxel size of 3×3×6 mm(3) and a temporal resolution of 0.127 s. The method also provided noise reduction, while having a minimal impact on accuracy and latency.

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