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Abstract #2050

Phase-correcting Non-local Means Denoising for Diffusion-Weighted Imaging

Sevgi Gokce Kafali1,2, Tolga Çukur1,2, and Emine Ulku Saritas1,2

1Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, 2National Magnetic Resonance Research Center (UMRAM), Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) intrinsically suffers from low SNR due to diffusion-induced signal losses. Multiple acquisitions have to be averaged to attain reasonable SNR level in high-spatial-resolution DWI images. However, subject motion during diffusion-sensitizing gradients creates varying phase offsets between repeated acquisitions, prohibiting a direct complex averaging of the image repetitions. Here, we propose a phase-correcting non-local means denoising filter that combines multiple DWI acquisitions while effectively reducing noise and phase cancellations. Results are demonstrated in vivo in the cervical spinal cord at 3T, using a reduced field-of-view DWI with 0.9 x 0.9 mm2 in-plane resolution.

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