Block-Matching Distortion Correction of Echo-Planar Images With Opposite Phase Encoding Directions.
Hedouin R., Commowick O., Bannier E., Scherrer B., Taquet M., Warfield SK., Barillot C.
By shortening the acquisition time of MRI, Echo Planar Imaging (EPI) enables the acquisition of a large number of images in a short time, compatible with clinical constraints as required for diffusion or functional MRI. However such images are subject to large, local distortions disrupting their correspondence with the underlying anatomy. The correction of those distortions is an open problem, especially in regions where large deformations occur. We propose a new block-matching registration method to perform EPI distortion correction based on the acquisition of two EPI with opposite phase encoding directions (PED). It relies on new transformations between blocks adapted to the EPI distortion model, and on an adapted optimization scheme to ensure an opposite symmetric transformation. We present qualitative and quantitative results of the block-matching correction using different metrics on a phantom dataset and on in-vivo data. We show the ability of the block-matching to robustly correct EPI distortion even in strongly affected areas.