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ImUnity: a generalizable VAE-GAN solution for multicenter MR image harmonization

by   Stenzel Cackowski, et al.
Université Grenoble Alpes

ImUnity is an original deep-learning model designed for efficient and flexible MR image harmonization. A VAE-GAN network, coupled with a confusion module and an optional biological preservation module, uses multiple 2D-slices taken from different anatomical locations in each subject of the training database, as well as image contrast transformations for its self-supervised training. It eventually generates 'corrected' MR images that can be used for various multi-center population studies. Using 3 open source databases (ABIDE, OASIS and SRPBS), which contain MR images from multiple acquisition scanner types or vendors and a large range of subjects ages, we show that ImUnity: (1) outperforms state-of-the-art methods in terms of quality of images generated using traveling subjects; (2) removes sites or scanner biases while improving patients classification; (3) harmonizes data coming from new sites or scanners without the need for an additional fine-tuning and (4) allows the selection of multiple MR reconstructed images according to the desired applications. Tested here on T1-weighted images, ImUnity could be used to harmonize other types of medical images.


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