Deep learning-based single image super-resolution for low-field MR brain images

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Low-field MRI scanners are significantly less expensive than their high-field counterparts, which gives them the potential to make MRI technology more accessible all around the world. In general, images acquired using low-field MRI scanners tend to be of a relatively low resolution, as signal-to-noise ratios are lower. The aim of this work is to improve the resolution of these images. To this end, we present a deep learning-based approach to transform low-resolution low-field MR images into high-resolution ones. A convolutional neural network was trained to carry out single image super-resolution reconstruction using pairs of noisy low-resolution images and their noise-free high-resolution counterparts, which were obtained from the publicly available NYU fastMRI database. This network was subsequently applied to noisy images acquired using a low-field MRI scanner. The trained convolutional network yielded sharp super-resolution images in which most of the high-frequency components were recovered. In conclusion, we showed that a deep learning-based approach has great potential when it comes to increasing the resolution of low-field MR images.