Comparing nonrigid registration techniques for motion corrected MR prostate diffusion imaging




T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used for anatomical visualization in the pelvis area, such as the prostate, with high soft-tissue contrast. MRI can also provide functional information such as diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) which depicts the molecular diffusion processes in biological tissues. The combination of anatomical and functional imaging techniques is widely used in oncology, e.g., for prostate cancer diagnosis and staging. However, acquisition-specific distortions as well as physiological motion lead to misalignments between T2 and DWI and consequently to a reduced diagnostic value. Image registration algorithms are commonly employed to correct for such misalignment.


The authors compare the performance of five state-of-the-art nonrigid image registration techniques for accurate image fusion of DWI with T2.


Image data of 20 prostate patients with cancerous lesions or cysts were acquired. All registration algorithms were validated using intensity-based as well as landmark-based techniques.


The authors’ results show that the “fast elastic image registration” provides most accurate results with a target registration error of 1.07 ± 0.41 mm at minimum execution times of 11 ± 1 s.