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19 March 2014 Relaxation times estimation in MRI
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a very powerful techniques for soft tissue diagnosis. At the present, the clinical evaluation is mainly conducted exploiting the amplitude of the recorded MR image which, in some specific cases, is modified by using contrast enhancements. Nevertheless, spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation times can play an important role in many pathology diagnosis, such as cancer, Alzheimer or Parkinson diseases. Different algorithms for relaxation time estimation have been proposed in literature. In particular, the two most adopted approaches are based on Least Squares (LS) and on Maximum Likelihood (ML) techniques. As the amplitude noise is not zero mean, the first one produces a biased estimator, while the ML is unbiased but at the cost of high computational effort. Recently the attention has been focused on the estimation in the complex, instead of the amplitude, domain. The advantage of working with real and imaginary decomposition of the available data is mainly the possibility of achieving higher quality estimations. Moreover, the zero mean complex noise makes the Least Square estimation unbiased, achieving low computational times. First results of complex domain relaxation times estimation on real datasets are presented. In particular, a patient with an occipital lesion has been imaged on a 3.0T scanner. Globally, the evaluation of relaxation times allow us to establish a more precise topography of biologically active foci, also with respect to contrast enhanced images.
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Fabio Baselice, Rocchina Caivano, Aldo Cammarota, Giampaolo Ferraioli, and Vito Pascazio "Relaxation times estimation in MRI", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 90332K (19 March 2014);

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