Spatio-temporal motion correction and iterative reconstruction of in-utero fetal fMRI

Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a powerful imaging technique for studying functional development of the brain in utero. However, unpredictable and excessive movement of fetuses have limited its clinical applicability. Previous studies have focused primarily on the accurate estimation of the motion parameters employing a single step 3D interpolation at each individual time frame to recover a motion-free 4D fMRI image. Using only information from a 3D spatial neighborhood neglects the temporal structure of fMRI and useful information from neighboring timepoints. Here, we propose a novel technique based on four dimensional iterative reconstruction of the motion scattered fMRI slices. Quantitative evaluation of the proposed method on a cohort of real clinical fetal fMRI data indicates improvement of reconstruction quality compared to the conventional 3D interpolation approaches.

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