AFFIRM: Affinity Fusion-based Framework for Iteratively Random Motion correction of multi-slice fetal brain MRI

12 May 2022  ·  Wen Shi, Haoan Xu, Cong Sun, Jiwei Sun, Yamin Li, Xinyi Xu, Tianshu Zheng, Yi Zhang, Guangbin Wang, Dan Wu ·

Multi-slice magnetic resonance images of the fetal brain are usually contaminated by severe and arbitrary fetal and maternal motion. Hence, stable and robust motion correction is necessary to reconstruct high-resolution 3D fetal brain volume for clinical diagnosis and quantitative analysis. However, the conventional registration-based correction has a limited capture range and is insufficient for detecting relatively large motions. Here, we present a novel Affinity Fusion-based Framework for Iteratively Random Motion (AFFIRM) correction of the multi-slice fetal brain MRI. It learns the sequential motion from multiple stacks of slices and integrates the features between 2D slices and reconstructed 3D volume using affinity fusion, which resembles the iterations between slice-to-volume registration and volumetric reconstruction in the regular pipeline. The method accurately estimates the motion regardless of brain orientations and outperforms other state-of-the-art learning-based methods on the simulated motion-corrupted data, with a 48.4% reduction of mean absolute error for rotation and 61.3% for displacement. We then incorporated AFFIRM into the multi-resolution slice-to-volume registration and tested it on the real-world fetal MRI scans at different gestation stages. The results indicated that adding AFFIRM to the conventional pipeline improved the success rate of fetal brain super-resolution reconstruction from 77.2% to 91.9%.

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