Keywords: Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting, Image Reconstruction, Convolutional Neural Network, Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neuromuscular Diseases
Abstract: Magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF) is a promising tool for fast and multiparametric quantitative MR imaging. A drawback of MRF, however, is that the reconstruction of the MR maps is computationally demanding and lacks scalability. Several works have been proposed to improve the reconstruction of MRF by deep learning methods. Unfortunately, such methods have never been evaluated on an extensive clinical data set, and there exists no consensus on whether a fingerprint-wise or spatiotemporal reconstruction is favorable. Therefore, we propose a convolutional neural network (CNN) that reconstructs MR maps from MRF-WF, a MRF sequence for neuromuscular diseases. We evaluated the CNN's performance on a large and highly heterogeneous data set consisting of 95 patients with various neuromuscular diseases. We empirically show the benefit of using the information of neighboring fingerprints and visualize, via occlusion experiments, the importance of temporal frames for the reconstruction.
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