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DeepTag: An Unsupervised Deep Learning Method for Motion Tracking on Cardiac Tagging Magnetic Resonance Images
Cardiac tagging magnetic resonance imaging (t-MRI) is the gold standard for regional myocardium deformation and cardiac strain estimation. However, this technique has not been widely used in clinical diagnosis, as a result of the difficulty of motion tracking encountered with t-MRI images. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning-based fully unsupervised method for in vivo motion tracking on t-MRI images. We first estimate the motion field (INF) between any two consecutive t-MRI frames by a bi-directional generative diffeomorphic registration neural network. Using this result, we then estimate the Lagrangian motion field between the reference frame and any other frame through a differentiable composition layer. By utilizing temporal information to perform reasonable estimations on spatio-temporal motion fields, this novel method provides a useful solution for motion tracking and image registration in dynamic medical imaging. Our method has been validated on a representative clinical t-MRI dataset; the experimental results show that our method is superior to conventional motion tracking methods in terms of landmark tracking accuracy and inference efficiency.