dStripe: slice artefact correction in diffusion MRI via constrained neural network

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MRI scanner and sequence imperfections and advances in reconstruction and imaging techniques to increase motion robustness can lead to inter-slice intensity variations in Echo Planar Imaging. Leveraging deep convolutional neural networks as universal image filters, we present a data-driven method for the correction of acquisition artefacts that manifest as inter-slice inconsistencies, regardless of their origin. This technique can be applied to motion- and dropout-artefacted data by embedding it in a reconstruction pipeline. The network is trained in the absence of ground-truth data on, and finally applied to, the reconstructed multi-shell high angular resolution diffusion imaging signal to produce a corrective slice intensity modulation field. This correction can be performed in either motion-corrected or scattered source-space. We focus on gaining control over the learned filter and the image data consistency via built-in spatial frequency and intensity constraints. The end product is a corrected image reconstructed from the original raw data, modulated by a multiplicative field that can be inspected and verified to match the expected features of the artefact. In-plane, the correction approximately preserves the contrast of the diffusion signal and throughout the image series, it reduces inter-slice inconsistencies within and across subjects without biasing the data. We apply our pipeline to enhance the super-resolution reconstruction of neonatal multi-shell high angular resolution data as acquired in the developing Human Connectome Project.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102255
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2021


  • diffusion MRI
  • image artefact removal
  • venetian blind artefact


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