PURPOSE: To achieve motion-robust diffusion compartment imaging (DCI) in near continuously moving subjects based on simultaneous multi-slice, diffusion-weighted brain MRI.
METHODS: Simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) acquisition enables fast and dense sampling of k- and q-space. We propose to achieve motion-robust DCI via slice-level motion correction by exploiting the rigid coupling between simultaneously acquired slices. This coupling provides 3D coverage of the anatomy that substantially constraints the slice-to-volume alignment problem. This is incorporated into an explicit model of motion dynamics that handles continuous and large subject motion in robust DCI reconstruction.
RESULTS: We applied the proposed technique, called Motion Tracking based on Simultanous Multislice Registration (MT-SMR) to multi b-value SMS diffusion-weighted brain MRI of healthy volunteers and motion-corrupted scans of 20 pediatric subjects. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation based on fractional anisotropy in unidirectional fiber regions, and DCI in crossing-fiber regions show robust reconstruction in the presence of motion.
CONCLUSION: The proposed approach has the potential to extend routine use of SMS DCI in very challenging populations, such as young children, newborns, and non-cooperative patients.