Motion-robust parameter estimation in abdominal diffusion-weighted MRI by simultaneous image registration and model estimation

Sila Kurugol, Moti Freiman, Onur Afacan, Liran Domachevsky, Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello, Michael J. Callahan, Simon K. Warfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Quantitative body DW-MRI can detect abdominal abnormalities as well as monitor response-to-therapy for applications including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease with increased accuracy. Parameter estimates are obtained by fitting a forward model of DW-MRI signal decay to the observed data acquired with several b-values. The DW-MRI signal decay models typically used do not account for respiratory, cardiac and peristaltic motion, however, which may deteriorate the accuracy and robustness of parameter estimates. In this work, we introduce a new model of DW-MRI signal decay that explicitly accounts for motion. Specifically, we estimated motion-compensated model parameters by simultaneously solving image registration and model estimation (SIR-ME) problems utilizing the interdependence of acquired volumes along the diffusion-weighting dimension. To accomplish this, we applied the SIR-ME model to the in-vivo DW-MRI data sets of 26 Crohn's disease (CD) patients and achieved improved precision of the estimated parameters by reducing the coefficient of variation by 8%, 24% and 8% for slow diffusion (D), fast diffusion (D*) and fast diffusion fraction (f) parameters respectively, compared to parameters estimated with independent registration in normal-appearing bowel regions. Moreover, the parameters estimated with the SIR-ME model reduced the error rate in classifying normal and abnormal bowel loops to 12% for D and 10% for f parameter with a reduction in error rate by 13% and 11% for D and f parameters, respectively, compared to the error rate in classifying parameter estimates obtained with independent registration. The experiments in DW-MRI of liver in 20 subjects also showed that the SIR-ME model improved the precision of parameter estimation by reducing the coefficient of variation to 7% for D, 23% for D*, and 8% for the f parameter. Using the SIR-ME model, the coefficient of variation was reduced by 4%, 14% and 6% for D, D* and f parameters, respectively, compared to parameters estimated with independent registration. These results demonstrate that the proposed SIR-ME model improves the accuracy and robustness of quantitative body DW-MRI in characterizing tissue microstructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abdomen
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Intra voxel incoherent motion model
  • Motion compensation

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