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An end‐to‐end‐trainable iterative network architecture for accelerated radial multi‐coil 2D cine MR image reconstruction

Kofler, Andreas; Haltmeier, Markus; Schaeffter, Tobias; Kolbitsch, Christoph

Purpose Iterative convolutional neural networks (CNNs) which resemble unrolled learned iterative schemes have shown to consistently deliver state‐of‐the‐art results for image reconstruction problems across different imaging modalities. However, because these methods include the forward model in the architecture, their applicability is often restricted to either relatively small reconstruction problems or to problems with operators which are computationally cheap to compute. As a consequence, they have not been applied to dynamic non‐Cartesian multi‐coil reconstruction problems so far. Methods In this work, we propose a CNN architecture for image reconstruction of accelerated 2D radial cine MRI with multiple receiver coils. The network is based on a computationally light CNN component and a subsequent conjugate gradient (CG) method which can be jointly trained end‐to‐end using an efficient training strategy. We investigate the proposed training strategy and compare our method with other well‐known reconstruction techniques with learned and non‐learned regularization methods. Results Our proposed method outperforms all other methods based on non‐learned regularization. Further, it performs similar or better than a CNN‐based method employing a 3D U‐Net and a method using adaptive dictionary learning. In addition, we empirically demonstrate that even by training the network with only iteration, it is possible to increase the length of the network at test time and further improve the results. Conclusions End‐to‐end training allows to highly reduce the number of trainable parameters of and stabilize the reconstruction network. Further, because it is possible to change the length of the network at the test time, the need to find a compromise between the complexity of the CNN‐block and the number of iterations in each CG‐block becomes irrelevant.
Published in: Medical Physics, 10.1002/mp.14809, Wiley