Reconstruction of 7T-Like Images from 3T MRI

Khosro Bahrami, Feng Shi, Xiaopeng Zong, Hae Won Shin, Hongyu An, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


In the recent MRI scanning, ultra-high-field (7T) MR imaging provides higher resolution and better tissue contrast compared to routine 3T MRI, which may help in more accurate and early brain diseases diagnosis. However, currently, 7T MRI scanners are more expensive and less available at clinical and research centers. These motivate us to propose a method for the reconstruction of images close to the quality of 7T MRI, called 7T-like images, from 3T MRI, to improve the quality in terms of resolution and contrast. By doing so, the post-processing tasks, such as tissue segmentation, can be done more accurately and brain tissues details can be seen with higher resolution and contrast. To do this, we have acquired a unique dataset which includes paired 3T and 7T images scanned from same subjects, and then propose a hierarchical reconstruction based on group sparsity in a novel multi-level Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) space, to improve the quality of 3T MR image to be 7T-like MRI. First, overlapping patches are extracted from the input 3T MR image. Then, by extracting the most similar patches from all the aligned 3T and 7T images in the training set, the paired 3T and 7T dictionaries are constructed for each patch. It is worth noting that, for the training, we use pairs of 3T and 7T MR images from each training subject. Then, we propose multi-level CCA to map the paired 3T and 7T patch sets to a common space to increase their correlations. In such space, each input 3T MRI patch is sparsely represented by the 3T dictionary and then the obtained sparse coefficients are used together with the corresponding 7T dictionary to reconstruct the 7T-like patch. Also, to have the structural consistency between adjacent patches, the group sparsity is employed. This reconstruction is performed with changing patch sizes in a hierarchical framework. Experiments have been done using 13 subjects with both 3T and 7T MR images. The results show that our method outperforms previous methods and is able to recover better structural details. Also, to place our proposed method in a medical application context, we evaluated the influence of post-processing methods such as brain tissue segmentation on the reconstructed 7T-like MR images. Results show that our 7T-like images lead to higher accuracy in segmentation of white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and skull, compared to segmentation of 3T MR images.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7445872
Pages (from-to)2085-2097
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept


  • 3T MRI
  • 7T MRI
  • canonical correlation analysis
  • image enhancement
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • ultra-high-field MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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