Before starting a diffusion-weighted MRI analysis, it is important to correct any misalignment between the diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) that was caused by subject motion and eddy current induced geometric distortions. Conventional methods adopt a pairwise registration approach, in which the non-DWI, a.k.a. the b D 0 image, is used as a reference. In this work, a groupwise affine registration framework, using a global dissimilarity metric, is proposed, which eliminates the need for selecting a reference image and which does not rely on a specific method that models the diffusion characteristics. The dissimilarity metric is based on principal component analysis (PCA) and is ideally suited for DWIs, in which the signal contrast varies drastically as a function of the applied gradient orientation. The proposed method is tested on synthetic data, with known ground-truth transformation parameters, and real diffusion MRI data, resulting in successful alignment.

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Mathematics and Visualization
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Huizinga, W., Metz, C., Poot, D., de Groot, M., Niessen, W., Leemans, A., & Klein, S. (2014). Groupwise registration for correcting subject motion and eddy current distortions in diffusion MRI using a PCA based dissimilarity metric. In Mathematics and Visualization. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-02475-2_15