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SOUP-GAN: Super-Resolution MRI Using Generative Adversarial Networks

by   Kuan Zhang, et al.

There is a growing demand for high-resolution (HR) medical images in both the clinical and research applications. Image quality is inevitably traded off with the acquisition time for better patient comfort, lower examination costs, dose, and fewer motion-induced artifacts. For many image-based tasks, increasing the apparent resolution in the perpendicular plane to produce multi-planar reformats or 3D images is commonly used. Single image super-resolution (SR) is a promising technique to provide HR images based on unsupervised learning to increase resolution of a 2D image, but there are few reports on 3D SR. Further, perceptual loss is proposed in the literature to better capture the textual details and edges than using pixel-wise loss functions, by comparing the semantic distances in the high-dimensional feature space of a pre-trained 2D network (e.g., VGG). However, it is not clear how one should generalize it to 3D medical images, and the attendant implications are still unclear. In this paper, we propose a framework called SOUP-GAN: Super-resolution Optimized Using Perceptual-tuned Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), in order to produce thinner slice (e.g., high resolution in the 'Z' plane) medical images with anti-aliasing and deblurring. The proposed method outperforms other conventional resolution-enhancement methods and previous SR work on medical images upon both qualitative and quantitative comparisons. Specifically, we examine the model in terms of its generalization for various SR ratios and imaging modalities. By addressing those limitations, our model shows promise as a novel 3D SR interpolation technique, providing potential applications in both clinical and research settings.


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