Evaluation of the cardiac global function from tagged magnetic resonance images
Tagged Magnetic Resonance (MR) images are considered the gold standard for evaluating the cardiac regional function. Nevertheless, the low myocardium-to-blood contrast in tagged MR images prevents accurate segmentation of the myocardium, and hence, hinders the quantitative assessment of the global function of the heart. In this work, a method for enhancing the myocardium-to-blood contrast in tagged MR images is proposed. First, the tag pattern in each input tagged MR image is removed using technique based on the image texture and the frequency components of the tag pattern to produce two tagless images. Then, these two images are combined to obtain a tagless MR image with high blood-to-myocardium contrast. The proposed method is applied to five patients where the global functional parameters are calculated and compared to those calculated from standard untagged cine MR images of the same subject. The results show that the proposed method has a high potential to be used in evaluating the global functional parameters from tagged MR images.