The effect of motion correction on pharmacokinetic parameter estimation in dynamic-contrast-enhanced MRI

A. Melbourne, J. Hipwell, M. Modat, T. Mertzanidou, H. Huisman, S. Ourselin and D. Hawkes

Physics in Medicine and Biology 2011;56(24):7693-7708.

DOI PMID Download Cited by ~35

A dynamic-contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) dataset consists of many imaging frames, often acquired both before and after contrast injection. Due to the length of time spent acquiring images, patient motion is likely and image re-alignment or registration is required before further analysis such as pharmacokinetic model fitting. Non-rigid image registration procedures may be used to correct motion artefacts; however, a careful choice of registration strategy is required to reduce misregistration artefacts associated with enhancing features. This work investigates the effect of registration on the results of model-fitting algorithms for 52 DCE-MR mammography cases for 14 patients. Results are divided into two sections: a comparison of registration strategies in which a DCE-MRI-specific algorithm is preferred in 50\% of cases, followed by an investigation of parameter changes with known applied deformations, inspecting the effect of magnitude and timing of motion artefacts. Increased motion magnitude correlates with increased model-fit residual and is seen to have a strong influence on the visibility of strongly enhancing features. Motion artefacts in images close to the contrast agent arrival have a disproportionate effect on discrepancies in parameter estimation. The choice of algorithm, magnitude of motion and timing of the motion are each shown to influence estimated pharmacokinetic parameters even when motion magnitude is small.