PURPOSE: To test and compare different registration approaches for performing whole-body diffusion-weighted (wbDWI) image station mosaicing, and its alignment to corresponding anatomical T 1 whole-body image.
METHODS: Four different registration strategies aiming at mosaicing of diffusion-weighted image stations, and their alignment to the corresponding whole-body anatomical image, were proposed and evaluated. These included two-step approaches, where diffusion-weighted stations are first combined in a pairwise (Strategy 1) or groupwise (Strategy 2) manner and later non-rigidly aligned to the anatomical image; a direct pairwise mapping of DWI stations onto the anatomical image (Strategy 3); and simultaneous mosaicing of DWI and alignment to the anatomical image (Strategy 4). Additionally, different images driving the registration were investigated. Experiments were performed for 20 whole-body images of patients with bone metastases.
RESULTS: Strategies 1 and 2 showed significant improvement in mosaicing accuracy with respect to the non-registered images (P < 0.006). Strategy 2 based on ADC images increased the alignment accuracy between DWI stations and the T 1 whole-body image (P = 0.0009).
CONCLUSIONS: A two-step registration strategy, relying on groupwise mosaicing of the ADC stations and subsequent registration to T 1 , provided the best compromise between whole-body DWI image quality and multi-modal alignment. Magn Reson Med 79:1684-1695, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
- MR station mosaicing
- diffusion-weighted MRI
- image registration
- multi-station acquisition
- whole-body MRI