A multi-stack framework in magnetic resonance imaging
Shilling, Richard Zethward
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred imaging modality for visualization of intracranial soft tissues. Surgical planning, and increasingly surgical navigation, use high resolution 3-D patient-specific structural maps of the brain. However, the process of MRI is a multi-parameter tomographic technique where high resolution imagery competes against high contrast and reasonable acquisition times. Resolution enhancement techniques based on super-resolution are particularly well suited in solving the problems of resolution when high contrast with reasonable times for MRI acquisitions are needed. Super-resolution is the concept of reconstructing a high resolution image from a set of low-resolution images taken at dierent viewpoints or foci. The MRI encoding techniques that produce high resolution imagery are often sub-optimal for the desired contrast needed for visualization of some structures in the brain. A novel super-resolution reconstruction framework for MRI is proposed in this thesis. Its purpose is to produce images of both high resolution and high contrast desirable for image-guided minimally invasive brain surgery. The input data are multiple 2-D multi-slice Inversion Recovery MRI scans acquired at orientations with regular angular spacing rotated around a common axis. Inspired by the computed tomography domain, the reconstruction is a 3-D volume of isotropic high resolution, where the inversion process resembles a projection reconstruction problem. Iterative algorithms for reconstruction are based on the projection onto convex sets formalism. Results demonstrate resolution enhancement in simulated phantom studies, and in ex- and in-vivo human brain scans, carried out on clinical scanners. In addition, a novel motion correction method is applied to volume registration using an iterative technique in which super-resolution reconstruction is estimated in a given iteration following motion correction in the preceding iteration. A comparison study of our method with previously published methods in super-resolution shows favorable characteristics of the proposed approach.