Fully automated background phase correction using M‐estimate SAmple consensus (MSAC)—Application to 2D and 4D flow

Carola Fischer, Jens Wetzl, Tobias Schaeffter, Daniel Giese

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Flow quantification by phase-contrast MRI is hampered by spatially varying background phase offsets. Correction performance by polynomial regression on stationary tissue may be affected by outliers such as wrap-around or constant flow. Therefore, we propose an alternative, M-estimate SAmple Consensus (MSAC) to reject outliers, and improve and fully automate background phase correction.

The MSAC technique fits polynomials to randomly drawn small samples from the image. Over several trials, it aims to find the best consensus set of valid pixels by rejecting outliers to the fit and minimizing the residuals of the remaining pixels. The robustness of MSAC to its few parameters was investigated and verified using third-order polynomial correction fits on a total of 118 2D flow (97 with wrap-around) and 18 4D flow data sets (14 with wrap-around), acquired at 1.5 T and 3 T. Background phase was compared with standard stationary correction and phantom correction. Pulmonary/systemic flow ratios in 2D flow were derived, and exemplary 4D flow analysis was performed.

The MSAC technique is robust over a range of parameter choices, and a unique set of parameters is suitable for both 2D and 4D flow. In 2D flow, phase errors were significantly reduced by MSAC compared with stationary correction (p = 0.005), and stationary correction shows larger errors in pulmonary/systemic flow ratios compared with MSAC. In 4D flow, MSAC shows similar performance as stationary correction.

The MSAC method provides fully automated background phase correction to 2D and 4D flow data and shows improved robustness over stationary correction, especially with outliers present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2709-2717
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2022


  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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