Automated SSIM Regression for Detection and Quantification of Motion Artefacts in Brain MR Images

June, 2022


Motion artefacts in magnetic resonance brain images are a crucial issue. The assessment of MR image quality is fundamental before proceeding with the clinical diagnosis. If the motion artefacts alter a correct delineation of structure and substructures of the brain, lesions, tumours and so on, the patients need to be re-scanned. Otherwise, neuro-radiologists could report an inaccurate or incorrect diagnosis. The first step right after scanning a patient is the "\textit{image quality assessment}" in order to decide if the acquired images are diagnostically acceptable. An automated image quality assessment based on the structural similarity index (SSIM) regression through a residual neural network has been proposed here, with the possibility to perform also the classification in different groups - by subdividing with SSIM ranges. This method predicts SSIM values of an input image in the absence of a reference ground truth image. The networks were able to detect motion artefacts, and the best performance for the regression and classification task has always been achieved with ResNet-18 with contrast augmentation. Mean and standard deviation of residuals' distribution were μ=−0.0009 and σ=0.0139, respectively. Whilst for the classification task in 3, 5 and 10 classes, the best accuracies were 97, 95 and 89\%, respectively. The obtained results show that the proposed method could be a tool in supporting neuro-radiologists and radiographers in evaluating the image quality before the diagnosis.

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