Keywords: MRI, acquisition parameters, breast, domain shift, inverse problem
TL;DR: We show it's possible to predict the acquisition parameters that generated an MRI image, solely from the image. We also apply this to model selection for unlabeled data for a cancer classification task.
Abstract: The image acquisition parameters (IAPs) used to create MRI scans are central to defining the appearance of the images. Deep learning models trained on data acquired using certain parameters might not generalize well to images acquired with different parameters. Being able to recover such parameters directly from an image could help determine whether a deep learning model is applicable, and could assist with data harmonization and/or domain adaptation. Here, we introduce a neural network model that can predict many complex IAPs used to generate an MR image with high accuracy solely using the image, with a single forward pass. These predicted parameters include field strength, echo and repetition times, acquisition matrix, scanner model, scan options, and others. Even challenging parameters such as contrast agent type can be predicted with good accuracy. We perform a variety of experiments and analyses of our model's ability to predict IAPs on many MRI scans of new patients, and demonstrate its usage in a realistic application. Predicting IAPs from the images is an important step toward better understanding the relationship between image appearance and IAPs. This in turn will advance the understanding of many concepts related to the generalizability of neural network models on medical images, including domain shift, domain adaptation, and data harmonization.
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