This study aimed to generate synthetic MR images from real CT images. CT# mean and standard deviation of a moving window across every pixel in the reconstructed CT images were mapped to their corresponding tissue-mimicking types. Identification of the tissue enabled remapping it to its corresponding intrinsic parameters: T1, T2, and proton density (ρ). Lastly, synthetic weighted MR images of a selected slice were generated by simulating a spin-echo sequence using the intrinsic parameters and proper contrast parameters (TE and TR). Experiments were performed on a 3D multimodality abdominal phantom and on human knees at different TE and TR parameters to confirm the clinical effectiveness of the approach. Results demonstrated the validity of the approach of generating synthetic MR images at different weightings using only CT images and the three predefined mapping functions. The slope of the fitting line and percentage root-mean-square difference (PRD) between real and synthetic image vector representations were (0.73, 10%), (0.9, 18%), and (0.2, 8.7%) for T1-, T2-, and ρ-weighted images of the phantom, respectively. The slope and PRD for human knee images, on average, were 0.89% and 18.8%, respectively. The generated MR images provide valuable guidance for physicians with regard to deciding whether acquiring real MR images is crucial.
Keywords: computed tomography; spin echo; synthetic MRI.