7T-guided super-resolution of 3T MRI

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High-resolution MR images can depict rich details of brain anatomical structures and show subtle changes in longitudinal data. 7T MRI scanners can acquire MR images with higher resolution and better tissue contrast than the routine 3T MRI scanners. However, 7T MRI scanners are currently more expensive and less available in clinical and research centers. To this end, we propose a method to generate super-resolution 3T MRI that resembles 7T MRI, which is called as 7T-like MR image in this paper.


First, we propose a mapping from 3T MRI to 7T MRI space, using regression random forest. The mapped 3T MR images serve as intermediate results with similar appearance as 7T MR images. Second, we predict the final higher resolution 7T-like MR images based on sparse representation, using paired local dictionaries for both the mapped 3T MR images and 7T MR images.


Based on 15 subjects with both 3T and 7T MR images, the predicted 7T-like MR images by our method can best match the ground-truth 7T MR images, compared to other methods. Meanwhile, the experiment on brain tissue segmentation shows that our 7T-like MR images lead to the highest accuracy in the segmentation of WM, GM, and CSF brain tissues, compared to segmentations of 3T MR images as well as the reconstructed 7T-like MR images by other methods.


We propose a novel method for prediction of high-resolution 7T-like MR images from low-resolution 3T MR images. Our predicted 7T-like MR images demonstrate better spatial resolution compared to 3T MR images, as well as prediction results by other comparison methods. Such high-quality 7T-like MR images could better facilitate disease diagnosis and intervention.

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