Published on Fri May 19 2017

MRI-PET Registration with Automated Algorithm in Pre-clinical Studies

Nathanael L. Baisa, Stéphanie Bricq, Alain Lalande

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are currently in high demand in the study of cancer. Many registration algorithms are developed and applied on human brain volume. These methods may not be as efficient on small animal datasets due to lack of intensity information and often the high anisotropy in voxelDimensions.

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Abstract

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) automatic 3-D registration is implemented and validated for small animal image volumes so that the high-resolution anatomical MRI information can be fused with the low spatial resolution of functional PET information for the localization of lesion that is currently in high demand in the study of tumor of cancer (oncology) and its corresponding preparation of pharmaceutical drugs. Though many registration algorithms are developed and applied on human brain volumes, these methods may not be as efficient on small animal datasets due to lack of intensity information and often the high anisotropy in voxel dimensions. Therefore, a fully automatic registration algorithm which can register not only assumably rigid small animal volumes such as brain but also deformable organs such as kidney, cardiac and chest is developed using a combination of global affine and local B-spline transformation models in which mutual information is used as a similarity criterion. The global affine registration uses a multi-resolution pyramid on image volumes of 3 levels whereas in local B-spline registration, a multi-resolution scheme is applied on the B-spline grid of 2 levels on the finest resolution of the image volumes in which only the transform itself is affected rather than the image volumes. Since mutual information lacks sufficient spatial information, PCA is used to inject it by estimating initial translation and rotation parameters. It is computationally efficient since it is implemented using C++ and ITK library, and is qualitatively and quantitatively shown that this PCA-initialized global registration followed by local registration is in close agreement with expert manual registration and outperforms the one without PCA initialization tested on small animal brain and kidney.

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