IEEE Publication: Learning the Regularization in DCE-MR Image Reconstruction for Functional Imaging of Kidneys and source code release

January 20, 2022

The following manuscript has been published in IEEE and the source code has been released in github:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9666904

Github link: https://github.com/quin-med-harvard-edu/kidney-LR-DCEMRI

Title: Learning the Regularization in DCE-MR Image Reconstruction for Functional Imaging of Kidneys
Authors: Aziz Koçanaoğulları; Cemre Ariyurek; Onur Afacan; Sila Kurugol

Abstract:

Kidney DCE-MRI aims at both qualitative assessment of kidney anatomy and quantitative assessment of kidney function by estimating the tracer kinetic (TK) model parameters. Accurate estimation of TK model parameters requires an accurate measurement of the arterial input function (AIF) with high temporal resolution. Accelerated imaging is used to achieve high temporal resolution, which yields under-sampling artifacts in the reconstructed images. Compressed sensing (CS) methods offer a variety of reconstruction options. Most commonly, sparsity of temporal differences is encouraged for regularization to reduce artifacts. Increasing regularization in CS methods removes the ambient artifacts but also over-smooths the signal temporally which reduces the parameter estimation accuracy. In this work, we propose a single image trained deep neural network to reduce MRI under-sampling artifacts without reducing the accuracy of functional imaging markers. Instead of regularizing with a penalty term in optimization, we promote regularization by generating images from a lower dimensional representation. In this manuscript we motivate and explain the lower dimensional input design. We compare our approach to CS reconstructions with multiple regularization weights. Proposed approach results in kidney biomarkers that are highly correlated with the ground truth markers estimated using the CS reconstruction which was optimized for functional analysis. At the same time, the proposed approach reduces the artifacts in the reconstructed images.