Error analysis of cine phase contrast MRI velocity measurements used for strain calculation

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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Cine Phase Contrast (CPC) MRI offers unique insight into localized skeletal muscle behavior by providing the ability to quantify muscle strain distribution during cyclic motion. Muscle strain is obtained by temporally integrating and spatially differentiating CPC-encoded velocity. The aim of this study was to quantify CPC measurement accuracy and precision and to describe error propagation into displacement and strain. Using an MRI-compatible jig to move a B-gel phantom within a 1.5T MRI bore, CPC-encoded velocities were collected. The three orthogonal encoding gradients (through plane, frequency, and phase) were evaluated independently in post-processing. Two systematic error types were corrected: eddy current-induced bias and calibration-type error. Measurement accuracy and precision were quantified before and after removal of systematic error. Through plane- and frequency-encoded data accuracy were within 0.4. mm/s after removal of systematic error - a 70% improvement over the raw data. Corrected phase-encoded data accuracy was within 1.3. mm/s. Measured random error was between 1 to 1.4. mm/s, which followed the theoretical prediction. Propagation of random measurement error into displacement and strain was found to depend on the number of tracked time segments, time segment duration, mesh size, and dimensional order. To verify this, theoretical predictions were compared to experimentally calculated displacement and strain error. For the parameters tested, experimental and theoretical results aligned well. Random strain error approximately halved with a two-fold mesh size increase, as predicted. Displacement and strain accuracy were within 2.6. mm and 3.3%, respectively. These results can be used to predict the accuracy and precision of displacement and strain in user-specific applications.

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Journal of Biomechanics