This study describes post-processing methodologies to reduce the effects of physiological motion in measurements of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in the liver. The aims of the study are to improve the accuracy of ADC measurements in liver disease to support quantitative clinical characterisation and reduce the number of patients required for sequential studies of disease progression and therapeutic effects. Two motion correction methods are compared, one based on non-rigid registration (NRA) using freely available open source algorithms and the other a local-rigid registration (LRA) specifically designed for use with diffusion weighted magnetic resonance (DW-MR) data. Performance of these methods is evaluated using metrics computed from regional ADC histograms on abdominal image slices from healthy volunteers. While the non-rigid registration method has the advantages of being applicable on the whole volume and in a fully automatic fashion, the local-rigid registration method is faster while maintaining the integrity of the biological structures essential for analysis of tissue heterogeneity. Our findings also indicate that the averaging commonly applied to DW-MR images as part of the acquisition protocol should be avoided if possible.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id imi/115151 - QUantitative Imaging in Cancer: CONnecting CEllular Processes with Therapy (QUIC-CONCEPT)
Ragheb, H, Thacker, N.A, Guyader, J.-M, Klein, S, DeSouza, N.M, & Jackson, A. (2015). The accuracy of ADC measurements in liver is improved by a tailored and computationally efficient local-rigid registration algorithm. PLoS ONE, 10(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132554