Comparison of model-based versus deep learning-based image reconstruction for thin-slice T2-weighted spin-echo prostate MRI

Stephen J. Riederer, Eric A. Borisch, Adam T. Froemming, Akira Kawashima, Naoki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare a previous model-based image reconstruction (MBIR) with a newly developed deep learning (DL)-based image reconstruction for providing improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in high through-plane resolution (1 mm) T2-weighted spin-echo (T2SE) prostate MRI. Methods: Large-area contrast and high-contrast spatial resolution of the reconstruction methods were assessed quantitatively in experimental phantom studies. The methods were next evaluated radiologically in 17 subjects at 3.0 Tesla for whom prostate MRI was clinically indicated. For each subject, the axial T2SE raw data were directed to MBIR and to the DL reconstruction at three vendor-provided levels: (L)ow, (M)edium, and (H)igh. Thin-slice images from the four reconstructions were compared using evaluation criteria related to SNR, sharpness, contrast fidelity, and reviewer preference. Results were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test using Bonferroni correction, and inter-reader comparisons were done using the Cohen and Krippendorf tests. Results: Baseline contrast and resolution in phantom studies were equivalent for all four reconstruction pathways as desired. In vivo, all three DL levels (L, M, H) provided improved SNR versus MBIR. For virtually, all other evaluation criteria DL L and M were superior to MBIR. DL L and M were evaluated as superior to DL H in fidelity of contrast. For 44 of the 51 evaluations, the DL M reconstruction was preferred. Conclusion: The deep learning reconstruction method provides significant SNR improvement in thin-slice (1 mm) T2SE images of the prostate while retaining image contrast. However, if taken to too high a level (DL High), both radiological sharpness and fidelity of contrast diminish. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAbdominal Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Deep learning
  • Model-based reconstruction
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate MRI
  • Super-resolution
  • Thin-slice T2-weighted spin echo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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