Noninvasive analysis of motion has important uses as qualitative markers for organ function and to validate biomechanical computer simulations relative to experimental observations. Tagged MRI is considered the gold standard for noninvasive tissue motion estimation in the heart, and this has inspired multiple studies focusing on other organs, including the brain under mild acceleration and the tongue during speech. As with other motion estimation approaches, using tagged MRI to measure 3D motion includes several preprocessing steps that affect the quality and accuracy of estimation. Benchmarks, or test suites, are datasets of known geometries and displacements that act as tools to tune tracking parameters or to compare different motion estimation approaches. Because motion estimation was originally developed to study the heart, existing test suites focus on cardiac motion. However, many fundamental differences exist between the heart and other organs, such that parameter tuning (or other optimization) with respect to a cardiac database may not be appropriate. Therefore, the objective of this research was to design and construct motion benchmarks by adopting an "image synthesis" test suite to study brain deformation due to mild rotational accelerations, and a benchmark to model motion of the tongue during speech. To obtain a realistic representation of mechanical behavior, kinematics were obtained from finite-element (FE) models. These results were combined with an approximation of the acquisition process of tagged MRI (including tag generation, slice thickness, and inconsistent motion repetition). To demonstrate an application of the presented methodology, the effect of motion inconsistency on synthetic measurements of head- brain rotation and deformation was evaluated. The results indicated that acquisition inconsistency is roughly proportional to head rotation estimation error. Furthermore, when evaluating non-rigid deformation, the results suggest that inconsistent motion can yield "ghost" shear strains, which are a function of slice acquisition viability as opposed to a true physical deformation.
Jordan Ramsey, Jerry L. Prince, and Arnold D. Gomez, "Test suite for image-based motion estimation of the brain and tongue," Proc. SPIE 10137, Medical Imaging 2017: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 101371G (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 14, 2017; Published: 13 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254626.
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