Markerless high-frequency prospective motion correction for neuroanatomical MRI

Robert Frost, Paul Wighton, F. Işık Karahanoğlu, Richard L. Robertson, P. Ellen Grant, Bruce Fischl, M. Dylan Tisdall, André van der Kouwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: To integrate markerless head motion tracking with prospectively corrected neuroanatomical MRI sequences and to investigate high-frequency motion correction during imaging echo trains. Methods: A commercial 3D surface tracking system, which estimates head motion by registering point cloud reconstructions of the face, was used to adapt the imaging FOV based on head movement during MPRAGE and T2 SPACE (3D variable flip-angle turbo spin-echo) sequences. The FOV position and orientation were updated every 6 lines of k-space (< 50 ms) to enable “within-echo-train” prospective motion correction (PMC). Comparisons were made with scans using “before-echo-train” PMC, in which the FOV was updated only once per TR, before the start of each echo train (ET). Continuous-motion experiments with phantoms and in vivo were used to compare these high-frequency and low-frequency correction strategies. MPRAGE images were processed with FreeSurfer to compare estimates of brain structure volumes and cortical thickness in scans with different PMC. Results: The median absolute pose differences between markerless tracking and MR image registration were 0.07/0.26/0.15 mm for x/y/z translation and 0.06º/0.02º/0.12° for rotation about x/y/z. The PMC with markerless tracking substantially reduced motion artifacts. The continuous-motion experiments showed that within-ET PMC, which minimizes FOV encoding errors during ETs that last over 1 second, reduces artifacts compared with before-ET PMC. T2 SPACE was found to be more sensitive to motion during ETs than MPRAGE. FreeSurfer morphometry estimates from within-ET PMC MPRAGE images were the most accurate. Conclusion: Markerless head tracking can be used for PMC, and high-frequency within-ET PMC can reduce sensitivity to motion during long imaging ETs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-144
Number of pages19
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • brain morphometry
  • high-frequency prospective motion correction
  • markerless motion tracking
  • real-time motion correction


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