In small animal imaging studies, when the locations of the micro-structures of interest are unknown a priori, there is a simultaneous need for full-body coverage and high resolution. In MRI, additional requirements to image contrast and acquisition time will often make it impossible to acquire such images directly. Recently, a resolution enhancing postprocessing technique called super-resolution reconstruction (SRR) has been demonstrated to improve visualization and localization of micro-structures in small animal MRI by combining multiple low-resolution acquisitions. However, when the field-of-view is large relative to the desired voxel size, solving the SRR problem becomes very expensive, in terms of both memory requirements and computation time. In this paper we introduce a novel local approach to SRR that aims to overcome the computational problems and allow researchers to efficiently explore both global and local characteristics in whole-body small animal MRI. The method integrates state-of-The-Art image processing techniques from the areas of articulated atlas-based segmentation, planar reformation, and SRR. A proof-of-concept is provided with two case studies involving CT, BLI, and MRI data of bone and kidney tumors in a mouse model. We show that local SRR-MRI is a computationally efficient complementary imaging modality for the precise characterization of tumor metastases, and that the method provides a feasible high-resolution alternative to conventional MRI.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0108730, hdl.handle.net/1765/92090
Journal PLoS ONE
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/612360 - Molecular Imaging of Brain Pathophysiology (BRAINPATH)
Citation
Dzyubachyk, O.M, Khmelinskii, A, Plenge, E, Kok, P, Snoeks, T.J.A, Poot, D.H.J, … Lelieveldt, B.P.F. (2014). Interactive local super-resolution reconstruction of whole-body MRI mouse data: A pilot study with applications to bone and kidney metastases. PLoS ONE, 9(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108730