Multimodal magnetic resonance images (e.g., T1-weighted image (TIWI) and T2-weighted image (T2WI)) are used for accurate medical imaging analysis. Different modal images have different resolution depending on pulse sequence parameters under limited data acquisition time. Therefore, interpolation methods are used to match the low-resolution (LR) image with the high-resolution (HR) image. However, the interpolation causes blurring that affects analysis accuracy. Although some recent works such as non-local-means (NLM) filter have manifested impressive super-resolution (SR) performance with available HR modal images, the filter has high computational cost. Therefore, we propose a fast SR framework with iterative-guided back projection, which incorporates iterative back projection with a guided filter (GF) method for resolution enhancement of LR images (e.g., T2WI) by referring HR images in another modality image (e.g., T1WI). The proposed method not only achieves both high accuracy than conventional interpolation methods and original GF and computational efficiency by applying an integral 3D image technique. In addition, although the proposed method is slightly inferior in accuracy visually than the state-of-the-art NLM filter, it can run 22 times faster than the state-of-theart method in expanding three times in the slice-select direction from 180 × 216 × 60 voxels to 180 × 216 × 180 voxels. The computational time of our method is about 1 min only. Therefore, the proposed method will be applied to various applications in practice, including not only multimodal MR images but also multimodal image analysis such as computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET).
Magnetic resonance imaging can only acquire volume data with finite resolution due to various factors. In particular, the resolution in one direction (such as the slice direction) is much lower than others (such as the in-plane direction), yielding un-realistic visualizations. This study explores to reconstruct MRI isotropic resolution volumes from three orthogonal scans. This proposed super- resolution reconstruction is formulated as a maximum a posterior (MAP) problem, which relies on the generation model of the acquired scans from the unknown high-resolution volumes. Generally, the deviation ensemble of the reconstructed high-resolution (HR) volume from the available LR ones in the MAP is represented as a Gaussian distribution, which usually results in some noise and artifacts in the reconstructed HR volume. Therefore, this paper investigates a robust super-resolution by formulating the deviation set as a Laplace distribution, which assumes sparsity in the deviation ensemble based on the possible insight of the appeared large values only around some unexpected regions. In addition, in order to achieve reliable HR MRI volume, we integrates the priors such as bilateral total variation (BTV) and non-local mean (NLM) into the proposed MAP framework for suppressing artifacts and enriching visual detail. We validate the proposed robust SR strategy using MRI mouse data with high-definition resolution in two direction and low-resolution in one direction, which are imaged in three orthogonal scans: axial, coronal and sagittal planes. Experiments verifies that the proposed strategy can achieve much better HR MRI volumes than the conventional MAP method even with very high-magnification factor: 10.