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Phys Med Biol. 2013 Aug 21;58(16):5735-51. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/16/5735. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

A fast referenceless PRFS-based MR thermometry by phase finite difference.

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  • 1Paul C Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging and Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People's Republic of China.


Proton resonance frequency shift-based MR thermometry is a promising temperature monitoring approach for thermotherapy but its accuracy is vulnerable to inter-scan motion. Model-based referenceless thermometry has been proposed to address this problem but phase unwrapping is usually needed before the model fitting process. In this paper, a referenceless MR thermometry method using phase finite difference that avoids the time consuming phase unwrapping procedure is proposed. Unlike the previously proposed phase gradient technique, the use of finite difference in the new method reduces the fitting error resulting from the ringing artifacts associated with phase discontinuity in the calculation of the phase gradient image. The new method takes into account the values at the perimeter of the region of interest because of their direct relevance to the extrapolated baseline phase of the region of interest (where temperature increase takes place). In simulation study, in vivo and ex vivo experiments, the new method has a root-mean-square temperature error of 0.35 °C, 1.02 °C and 1.73 °C compared to 0.83 °C, 2.81 °C, and 3.76 °C from the phase gradient method, respectively. The method also demonstrated a slightly higher, albeit small, temperature accuracy than the original referenceless MR thermometry method. The proposed method is computationally efficient (~0.1 s per image), making it very suitable for the real time temperature monitoring.

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