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In Medical image analysis

The intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model allows to map diffusion (D) and perfusion-related parameters (F and D*). Parameter estimation is, however, error-prone due to the non-linearity of the signal model, the limited signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the small volume fraction of perfusion in the in-vivo brain. In the present work, the performance of Bayesian inference was examined in the presence of brain pathologies characterized by hypo- and hyperperfusion. In particular, a hierarchical and a spatial prior were combined. Performance was compared relative to conventional segmented least squares regression, hierarchical prior only (non-segmented and segmented data likelihoods) and a deep learning approach. Realistic numerical brain IVIM simulations were conducted to assess errors relative to ground truth. In-vivo, data of 11 central nervous system cancer patients and 9 patients with acute stroke were acquired. The proposed method yielded reduced error in simulations for both the cancer and acute stroke scenarios compared to other methods across the whole investigated SNR range. The contrast-to-noise ratio of the proposed method was better or on par compared to the other techniques in-vivo. The proposed Bayesian approach hence improves IVIM parameter estimation in brain cancer and acute stroke.

Spinner Georg Ralph, Federau Christian, Kozerke Sebastian


Acute stroke, Bayesian inference, Cancer, Intravoxel incoherent motion imaging