High-performance rapid MR parameter mapping using model-based deep adversarial learning

Magn Reson Imaging. 2020 Dec:74:152-160. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2020.09.021. Epub 2020 Sep 25.


Purpose: To develop and evaluate a deep adversarial learning-based image reconstruction approach for rapid and efficient MR parameter mapping.

Methods: The proposed method provides an image reconstruction framework by combining the end-to-end convolutional neural network (CNN) mapping, adversarial learning, and MR physical models. The CNN performs direct image-to-parameter mapping by transforming a series of undersampled images directly into MR parameter maps. Adversarial learning is used to improve image sharpness and enable better texture restoration during the image-to-parameter conversion. An additional pathway concerning the MR signal model is added between the estimated parameter maps and undersampled k-space data to ensure the data consistency during network training. The proposed framework was evaluated on T2 mapping of the brain and the knee at an acceleration rate R = 8 and was compared with other state-of-the-art reconstruction methods. Global and regional quantitative assessments were performed to demonstrate the reconstruction performance of the proposed method.

Results: The proposed adversarial learning approach achieved accurate T2 mapping up to R = 8 in brain and knee joint image datasets. Compared to conventional reconstruction approaches that exploit image sparsity and low-rankness, the proposed method yielded lower errors and higher similarity to the reference and better image sharpness in the T2 estimation. The quantitative metrics were normalized root mean square error of 3.6% for brain and 7.3% for knee, structural similarity index of 85.1% for brain and 83.2% for knee, and tenengrad measures of 9.2% for brain and 10.1% for the knee. The adversarial approach also achieved better performance for maintaining greater image texture and sharpness in comparison to the CNN approach without adversarial learning.

Conclusion: The proposed framework by incorporating the efficient end-to-end CNN mapping, adversarial learning, and physical model enforced data consistency is a promising approach for rapid and efficient reconstruction of quantitative MR parameters.

Keywords: Adversarial learning; Convolutional neural network; Deep learning; Generative adversarial network; MR parameter mapping; Model-based reconstruction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Deep Learning*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Time Factors