Deep learning for fast low-field MRI acquisitions

Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 6;12(1):11394. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14039-7.


Low-field (LF) MRI research currently gains momentum from its potential to offer reduced costs and reduced footprints translating into wider accessibility. However, the impeded signal-to-noise ratio inherent to lower magnetic fields can have a significant impact on acquisition times that challenges LF clinical relevance. Undersampling is an effective way to speed up acquisitions in MRI, and recent work has shown encouraging results when combined with deep learning (DL). Yet, training DL models generally requires large databases that are not yet available at LF regimes. Here, we demonstrate the capability of Residual U-net combined with data augmentation to reconstruct magnitude and phase information of undersampled LF MRI scans at 0.1 T with a limited training dataset (n = 10). The model performance was first evaluated in a retrospective study for different acceleration rates and sampling patterns. Ultimately, the DL approach was validated on prospectively acquired, fivefold undersampled LF data. With varying performances associated to the adopted sampling scheme, our results show that the approach investigated can preserve the global structure and the details sharpness in the reconstructed magnitude and phase images. Overall, promising results could be obtained on acquired LF MR images that may bring this research closer to clinical implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Deep Learning*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Records
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio