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Eur Radiol. 2013 Jan;23(1):246-52. doi: 10.1007/s00330-012-2590-3. Epub 2012 Aug 4.

Image registration improves human knee cartilage T1 mapping with delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC).

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Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Departments of Medical Informatics and Radiology, Erasmus MC, P.O. Box 2040, 3000, CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To evaluate the effect of automated registration in delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) of the knee on the occurrence of movement artefacts on the T1 map and the reproducibility of region-of-interest (ROI)-based measurements.


Eleven patients with early-stage knee osteoarthritis and ten healthy controls underwent dGEMRIC twice at 3 T. Controls underwent unenhanced imaging. ROIs were manually drawn on the femoral and tibial cartilage. T1 calculation was performed with and without registration of the T1-weighted images. Automated three-dimensional rigid registration was performed on the femur and tibia cartilage separately. Registration quality was evaluated using the square root Cramér-Rao lower bound (CRLB(σ)). Additionally, the reproducibility of dGEMRIC was assessed by comparing automated registration with manual slice-matching.


Automated registration of the T1-weighted images improved the T1 maps as the 90% percentile of the CRLB(σ) was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced with a median reduction of 55.8 ms (patients) and 112.9 ms (controls). Manual matching and automated registration of the re-imaged T1 map gave comparable intraclass correlation coefficients of respectively 0.89/0.90 (patients) and 0.85/0.85 (controls).


Registration in dGEMRIC reduces movement artefacts on T1 maps and provides a good alternative to manual slice-matching in longitudinal studies.

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