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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 Oct;46(4):1060-1072. doi: 10.1002/jmri.25659. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

Robust universal nonrigid motion correction framework for first-pass cardiac MR perfusion imaging.

Author information

1
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
3
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA.
4
Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To present and assess an automatic nonrigid image registration framework that compensates motion in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) perfusion series and auxiliary images acquired under a wide range of conditions to facilitate myocardial perfusion quantification.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Our framework combines discrete feature matching for large displacement estimation with a dense variational optical flow formulation in a multithreaded architecture. This framework was evaluated on 291 clinical subjects to register 1.5T and 3.0T steady-state free-precession (FISP) and fast low-angle shot (FLASH) dynamic contrast myocardial perfusion images, arterial input function (AIF) images, and proton density (PD)-weighted images acquired under breath-hold (BH) and free-breath (FB) settings.

RESULTS:

Our method significantly improved frame-to-frame appearance consistency compared to raw series, expressed in correlation coefficient (R2  = 0.996 ± 3.735E-3 vs. 0.978 ± 2.024E-2, P < 0.0001) and mutual information (3.823 ± 4.098E-1 vs. 2.967 ± 4.697E-1, P < 0.0001). It is applicable to both BH (R2  = 0.998 ± 3.217E-3 vs. 0.990 ± 7.527E-3) and FB (R2  = 0.995 ± 3.410E-3 vs. 0.968 ± 2.257E-3) paradigms as well as FISP and FLASH sequences. The method registers PD images to perfusion T1 series (9.70% max increase in R2 vs. no registration, P < 0.001) and also corrects motion in low-resolution AIF series (R2  = 0.987 ± 1.180E-2 vs. 0.964 ± 3.860E-2, P < 0.001). Finally, we showed the myocardial perfusion contrast dynamic was preserved in the motion-corrected images compared to the raw series (R2  = 0.995 ± 6.420E-3).

CONCLUSION:

The critical step of motion correction prior to pixel-wise cardiac MR perfusion quantification can be performed with the proposed universal system. It is applicable to a wide range of perfusion series and auxiliary images with different acquisition settings.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

3 Technical Efficacy: Stage 1 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017;46:1060-1072.

KEYWORDS:

cardiac magnetic resonance; contrast enhancement; motion correction; myocardial perfusion; nonrigid image registration; quantitative perfusion

PMID:
28205347
PMCID:
PMC5557713
DOI:
10.1002/jmri.25659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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