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Keywords:

  • fat water decomposition;
  • noniterative;
  • graph cut;
  • optimal surface;
  • minimum-cost closed set

Purpose

This article focuses on developing a novel noniterative fat water decomposition algorithm more robust to fat water swaps and related ambiguities.

Methods

Field map estimation is reformulated as a constrained surface estimation problem to exploit the spatial smoothness of the field, thus minimizing the ambiguities in the recovery. Specifically, the differences in the field map-induced frequency shift between adjacent voxels are constrained to be in a finite range. The discretization of the above problem yields a graph optimization scheme, where each node of the graph is only connected with few other nodes. Thanks to the low graph connectivity, the problem is solved efficiently using a noniterative graph cut algorithm. The global minimum of the constrained optimization problem is guaranteed. The performance of the algorithm is compared with that of state-of-the-art schemes. Quantitative comparisons are also made against reference data.

Results

The proposed algorithm is observed to yield more robust fat water estimates with fewer fat water swaps and better quantitative results than other state-of-the-art algorithms in a range of challenging applications.

Conclusion

The proposed algorithm is capable of considerably reducing the swaps in challenging fat water decomposition problems. The experiments demonstrate the benefit of using explicit smoothness constraints in field map estimation and solving the problem using a globally convergent graph-cut optimization algorithm. Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.