Abstract: Cardiac tagging magnetic resonance imaging (t-MRI) is the gold standard for regional myocardium deformation and cardiac strain estimation. However, this technique has not been widely used in clinical diagnosis, as a result of the difficulty of motion tracking encountered with t-MRI images. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning-based fully unsupervised method for in vivo motion tracking on t-MRI images. We first estimate the motion field (INF) between any two consecutive t-MRI frames by a bi-directional generative diffeomorphic registration neural network. Using this result, we then estimate the Lagrangian motion field between the reference frame and any other frame through a differentiable composition layer. By utilizing temporal information to perform reasonable estimations on spatio-temporal motion fields, this novel method provides a useful solution for motion tracking and image registration in dynamic medical imaging. Our method has been validated on a representative clinical t-MRI dataset; the experimental results show that our method is superior to conventional motion tracking methods in terms of landmark tracking accuracy and inference efficiency.
Authors: Meng Ye, Mikael Kanski, Dong Yang, Qi Chang, Zhennan Yan, Qiaoying Huang, Leon Axel, Dimitris Metaxas (Rutgers University, New York University School of Medicine, NVIDIA, SenseBrain and Shanghai AI Laboratory and Centre for Perceptual and Interactive Intellgience)