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BMC Medical Imaging
Volume 6, 7 June 2006, Article number 5

A method for dynamic subtraction MR imaging of the liver

Mainardi, L.T, Passera, K.M., Lucesoli, A., Potepan, P., Setti, E., Musumeci, R.

Abstract

Subtraction of Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced 3D Magnetic Resonance (DCE-MR) volumes can result in images that depict and accurately characterize a variety of liver lesions. However, the diagnostic utility of subtraction images depends on the extent of co-registration between non-enhanced and enhanced volumes. Movement of liver structures during acquisition must be corrected prior to subtraction. Currently available methods are computer intensive. We report a new method for the dynamic subtraction of MR liver images that does not require excessive computer time. Methods: Nineteen consecutive patients (median age 45 years; range 37-67) were evaluated by VIBE TI-weighted sequences (TR 5.2 ms, TE 2.6 ms, flip angle 20°, slice thickness 1.5 mm) acquired before and 45s after contrast injection. Acquisition parameters were optimized for best portal system enhancement. Pre and post-contrast liver volumes were realigned using our 3D registration method which combines: (a) rigid 3D translation using maximization of normalized mutual information (NMI), and (b) fast 2D non-rigid registration which employs a complex discrete wavelet transform algorithm to maximize pixel phase correlation and perform multiresolution analysis. Registration performance was assessed quantitatively by NMI. Results: The new registration procedure was able to realign liver structures in all 19 patients. NMI increased by about 8% after rigid registration (native vs. rigid registration 0.073 ± 0.031 vs. 0.078 ± 0.031, n.s., paired t-test) and by a further 23% (0.096 ± 0.035 vs. 0.078 ± 0.031, p < 0.001, paired t-test) after non-rigid realignment. The overall average NMI increase was 31%. Conclusion: This new method for realigning dynamic contrast-enhanced 3D MR volumes of liver leads to subtraction images that enhance diagnostic possibilities for liver lesions.

L’articolo è open access disponibile per tutti qui http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2342/6/5

 

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