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An Effective Homomorphic Unsharp Mask Filtering Method to Correct Intensity Inhomogeneity in Daily Treatment MR Images

D Yang

D Yang*, H Gach , H Li , S Mutic , Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


TU-H-206-4 (Tuesday, August 2, 2016) 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Room: 206

Purpose:The daily treatment MRIs acquired on MR-IGRT systems, like diagnostic MRIs, suffer from intensity inhomogeneity issue, associated with B1 and B0 inhomogeneities. An improved homomorphic unsharp mask (HUM) filtering method, automatic and robust body segmentation, and imaging field-of-view (FOV) detection methods were developed to compute the multiplicative slow-varying correction field and correct the intensity inhomogeneity. The goal is to improve and normalize the voxel intensity so that the images could be processed more accurately by quantitative methods (e.g., segmentation and registration) that require consistent image voxel intensity values.

Methods:HUM methods have been widely used for years. A body mask is required, otherwise the body surface in the corrected image would be incorrectly bright due to the sudden intensity transition at the body surface. In this study, we developed an improved HUM-based correction method that includes three main components: 1) Robust body segmentation on the normalized image gradient map, 2) Robust FOV detection (needed for body segmentation) using region growing and morphologic filters, and 3) An effective implementation of HUM using repeated Gaussian convolution.

Results:The proposed method was successfully tested on patient images of common anatomical sites (H/N, lung, abdomen and pelvis). Initial qualitative comparisons showed that this improved HUM method outperformed three recently published algorithms (FCM, LEMS, MICO) in both computation speed (by 50+ times) and robustness (in intermediate to severe inhomogeneity situations). Currently implemented in MATLAB, it takes 20 to 25 seconds to process a 3D MRI volume.

Conclusion:Compared to more sophisticated MRI inhomogeneity correction algorithms, the improved HUM method is simple and effective. The inhomogeneity correction, body mask, and FOV detection methods developed in this study would be useful as preprocessing tools for many MRI-related research and clinical applications in radiotherapy.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Authors have received research grants from ViewRay and Varian.

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