On motion in dynamic magnetic resonance imagingapplications in cardiac function and abdominal diffusion

  1. Sanz Estébanez, Santiago Rodrigo
Supervised by:
  1. Carlos Alberola López Director
  2. Santiago Aja Fernández Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Valladolid

Fecha de defensa: 20 November 2019

  1. Manuel Desco Menéndez Chair
  2. Juan Pablo Casaseca de la Higuera Secretary
  3. Ana Rita Nunes Committee member
  1. Signal and Communications Theory and Telematic Engineering

Type: Thesis


MRI is a well-established medical image technique with excellent tissue contrast and high spatial resolution without the need of ionizing radiation. However, quantification and compensation of physiological motion during acquisition represent a major issue which must be considered for the development of robust biomarkers. This thesis focuses on the estimation and correction of motion in different MRI modalities, to provide robustness in the assessment of functionality and tissue composition of abdominal organs. The parameters we are seeking to provide should be robust, reproducible, independent of the intra- and inter-observer variability and easy to visualize for a better radiological interpretation. Specifically, this Thesis focuses on two main tasks: (1) the characterization of the mechanical properties and possible misfunctionalities of the myocardium and (2) the robust estimation of the apparent diffusion coeficient in the liver. For the former, we propose a methodology for the robust estimation of motion and strain, as well as a procedure for identifying the presence of fibrotic tissue and classifying the different aetiologies behind hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. For the sake of comprehensiveness, we have also introduced a thorough description of the harmonic phase techniques and an extensive analysis of the different strategies for robust motion and strain estimation in cardiac tagged magnetic resonance. In addition, a review of the most relevant features in cardiomyopathy screening and classiffcation is carried out. About the latter, we propose a joint registration and estimation procedure for abdominal diffusion weighted imaging. This approach provides a reproducible apparent diffusion coeficient estimation, which is robust towards noise and physiological motion during acquisition, two of the main issues in clinical imaging. The main contribution in this second application domain is twofold: first, the inclusion of a groupwise registration methodology aimed at minimizing the residuals in the estimation; second, the proposal of filtering stages to alleviate the influence of noise in diffusion parameter estimation, which may lead to spuriously biased estimates, specially in low signal-to-noise-ratio scenarios. The proposed study also evaluates the decrease in accuracy when the noise model is not properly accounted for.