The investigation and quantification of cardiac motion is important for assessment of cardiac abnormalities and treatment effectiveness. Therefore we consider a new method to track cardiac motion from magnetic resonance (MR) tagged images. Tracking is achieved by following the spatial maxima in scale-space of the MR images over time. Reconstruction of the velocity field is then carried out by minimizing an energy functional which is a Sobolev-norm expressed in covariant derivatives. These covariant derivatives are used to express prior knowledge about the velocity field in the variational framework employed. Furthermore, we propose a multi-scale Helmholtz decomposition algorithm that combines diffusion and Helmholtz decomposition in one non-singular analytic kernel operator in order to decompose the optic flow vector field in a divergence free, and rotation free part. Finally, we combine both the multi-scale Helmholtz decomposition and our vector field reconstruction (based on covariant derivatives) in a single algorithm and show the practical benefit of this approach by an experiment on real cardiac images.
Duits, R., Janssen, B. J., Becciu, A., & van Assen, H. C. (2013). A variational approach to cardiac motion estimation based on covariant derivatives and multi-scale Helmholtz decomposition. Quarterly of Applied Mathematics, 71(1), 1-36. https://doi.org/10.1090/S0033-569X-2012-01313-0