Registration-based approach for reconstruction of high-resolution in utero fetal MR brain images

Acad Radiol. 2006 Sep;13(9):1072-81. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2006.05.003.


Rationale and objectives: This paper describes a novel approach to forming high-resolution MR images of the human fetal brain. It addresses the key problem of fetal motion by proposing a registration-refined compounding of multiple sets of orthogonal fast two-dimensional MRI slices, which are currently acquired for clinical studies, into a single high-resolution MRI volume.

Materials and methods: A robust multiresolution slice alignment is applied iteratively to the data to correct motion of the fetus that occurs between two-dimensional acquisitions. This is combined with an intensity correction step and a super-resolution reconstruction step, to form a single high isotropic resolution volume of the fetal brain.

Results: Experimental validation on synthetic image data with known motion types and underlying anatomy, together with retrospective application to sets of clinical acquisitions, are included.

Conclusion: Results indicate that this method promises a unique route to acquiring high-resolution MRI of the fetal brain in vivo allowing comparable quality to that of neonatal MRI. Such data provide a highly valuable window into the process of normal and abnormal brain development, which is directly applicable in a clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Subtraction Technique*