Robust Motion Correction Strategy for Structural MRI in Unsedated Children Demonstrated with Three-dimensional Radial MPnRAGE

Radiology. 2018 Nov;289(2):509-516. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018180180. Epub 2018 Jul 31.


Purpose To develop and evaluate a retrospective method to minimize motion artifacts in structural MRI. Materials and Methods The motion-correction strategy was developed for three-dimensional radial data collection and demonstrated with MPnRAGE, a technique that acquires high-resolution volumetric magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo, or MPRAGE, images with multiple tissue contrasts. Forty-four pediatric participants (32 with autism spectrum disorder [mean age ± standard deviation, 13 years ± 3] and 12 age-matched control participants [mean age, 12 years ± 3]) were imaged without sedation. Images with and images without retrospective motion correction were scored by using a Likert scale (0-4 for unusable to excellent) by two experienced neuroradiologists. The Tenengrad metric (a reference-free measure of image sharpness) and statistical analyses were performed to determine the effects of performing retrospective motion correction. Results MPnRAGE T1-weighted images with retrospective motion correction were all judged to have good or excellent quality. In some cases, retrospective motion correction improved the image quality from unusable (Likert score of 0) to good (Likert score of 3). Overall, motion correction improved mean Likert scores from 3.0 to 3.8 and reduced standard deviations from 1.1 to 0.4. Image quality was significantly improved with motion correction (Mann-Whitney U test; P < .001). Intraclass correlation coefficients for absolute agreement of Tenengrad scores with reviewers 1 and 2 were 0.92 and 0.88 (P < .0005 for both), respectively. In no cases did the retrospective motion correction induce severe image degradation. Conclusion Retrospective motion correction of MPnRAGE data were shown to be highly effective for consistently improving image quality of T1-weighted MRI in unsedated pediatric participants, while also enabling multiple tissue contrasts to be reconstructed for structural analysis. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Artifacts*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Motion
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies