A Spatiotemporal-Constrained Sorting Method for Motion-Robust 4D-MRI: A Feasibility Study

Chunhao Wang, Ergys Subashi, Fang Fang Yin, Zheng Chang, Jing Cai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To develop a spatiotemporal-constrained sorting technique for motion-robust 4 dimensional-magnetic resonance imaging. Methods and Materials: This sorting method implemented 2 new approaches for 4-dimensional imaging: (1) an optimized sparse k-space acquisition trajectory with self-gating signal derivation, and (2) a retrospective k-space sorting for reconstruction using a novel spatiotemporal-constrained strategy to minimize breathing variation–induced motion artifacts. Such sorting was regularized by a spatiotemporal index. Volumetric reconstruction was implemented iteratively with a secnd-order total generalized variation penalty. The proposed method was evaluated and compared with the conventional phase-sorting and amplitude-sorting methods in 2 studies. In a computer simulation study, 6 abdominal motion scenarios, including 2 cosine and 4 patient breathing motion patterns, were studied. Reconstruction accuracy was evaluated quantitatively in reference to the ground truth by average image relative error (IRE) in 10 phases and target Dice similarity coefficients (DSCs) in end-of-exhalation/inhalation phases. In addition, the proposed method was evaluated using a custom-made motion phantom. Reconstruction accuracy was evaluated by motion range measurement and image quality comparison in both fast and slow breathing motions. Results: In the simulation study, stitching motion artifacts in restricted images were lessened using the proposed method compared with those using the conventional methods. The average IRE and target DSC (end-of-exhalation/inhalation) were 0.031 and 0.95/0.94, respectively, suggesting better motion reconstruction accuracy than the phase-sorted method (IRE, 0.057; DSC, 0.89/0.89) and the amplitude-sorted method (IRE, 0.048; DSC, 0.91/0.88). In the phantom study, the moving target reconstructed by the proposed method demonstrated better rendering with less edge blurring. With fast breathing motion, the range measured using the proposed method was more accurate than that of the phase-sorted method and was comparable to the result of amplitude-sorted method and ground truths. Conclusions: Preliminary results suggested that the proposed sorting technique could reconstruct high-quality images and accurate motion estimation with reduced artifacts in 4 dimensional-magnetic resonance imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
Early online date12 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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