Purpose Motion artifacts induced by breathing variations are common in 4D-MRI images. This study aims to reduce the motion artifacts by developing a novel, robust 4D-MRI sorting method based on anatomic feature matching and applicable in both cine and sequential acquisition. Method The proposed method uses the diaphragm as the anatomic feature to guide the sorting of 4D-MRI images. Initially, both abdominal 2D sagittal cine MRI images and axial MRI images were acquired. The sagittal cine MRI images were divided into 10 phases as ground truth. Next, the phase of each axial MRI image is determined by matching its diaphragm position in the intersection plane to the ground truth cine MRI. Then, those matched phases axial images were sorted into 10-phase bins which were identical to the ground truth cine images. Finally, 10-phase 4D-MRI were reconstructed from these sorted axial images. The accuracy of reconstructed 4D-MRI data was evaluated by comparing with the ground truth using the 4D eXtended Cardiac Torso (XCAT) digital phantom. The effects of breathing signal, including both regular (cosine function) and irregular (patient data) in both axial cine and sequential scanning modes, on reconstruction accuracy were investigated by calculating total relative error (TRE) of the 4D volumes, Volume-Percent-Difference (VPD) and Center-of-Mass-Shift (COMS) of the estimated tumor volume, compared with the ground truth XCAT images. Results In both scanning modes, reconstructed 4D-MRI images matched well with ground truth with minimal motion artifacts. The averaged TRE of the 4D volume, VPD and COMS of the EOE phase in both scanning modes are 0.32%/1.20%/±0.05 mm for regular breathing, and 1.13%/4.26%/±0.21 mm for patient irregular breathing. Conclusion The preliminary evaluation results illustrated the feasibility of the robust 4D-MRI sorting method based on anatomic feature matching. This method provides improved image quality with reduced motion artifacts for both cine and sequential scanning modes.
- Motion artifacts
- Liver cancer