This paper presents a virtual tagging framework for measuring, as well as visualising, myocardial deformation using magnetic resonance (MR) velocity imaging. Tagging grids are allocated artificially according to the deformation gradient with varying shapes and densities. The control points are then deformed such that the difference between the induced deformation velocity and that of actually measured MR data is minimum. A full three-dimensional implementation of the technique combined with the mass conservation constraint is provided. Numerical considerations of applying the proposed framework and different optimization strategies have been investigated with both simulated and phantom experiments. The accuracy of the technique in terms of following material deformation is compared with that of conventional tagging technique.
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