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The new SinMod method extracts motion from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-tagged (MRIT) image sequences. Image intensity in the environment of each pixel is modeled as a moving sine wavefront. Displacement is estimated at subpixel accuracy. Performance is compared with the harmonic-phase analysis (HARP) method, which is currently the most common method used to detect motion in MRIT images. SinMod can handle line tags, as well as speckle patterns. In artificial images (tag distance six pixels), SinMod detects displacements accurately (error < pixels). Effects of noise are suppressed effectively. Sharp transitions in motion at the boundary of an object are smeared out over a width of 0.6 tag distance. For MRIT images of the heart, SinMod appears less sensitive to artifacts, especially later in the cardiac cycle when image quality deteriorates. For each pixel, the quality of the sine-wave model in describing local image intensity is quantified objectively. If local quality is low, artifacts are avoided by averaging motion over a larger environment. Summarizing, SinMod is just as fast as HARP, but it performs better with respect to accuracy of displacement detection, noise reduction, and avoidance of artifacts.