Changes of MR and DTI appearance in early human brain development

Cassian Marc, Clement Vachet, Guido Gerig, Joseph Blocher, John Gilmore, Martin Styner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Understanding myelination in early brain development is of clinical importance, as many neurological disorders have their origin in early cerebral organization and maturation. The goal of this work is to study a large neonate database acquired with standard MR imagery to illuminate effects of early development in MRI. 90 neonates were selected from a study of healthy brain development. Subjects were imaged via MRI postnatally. MR acquisition included high-resolution structural and diffusion tensor images. Unbiased atlases for structural and DTI data were generated and co-registered into a single coordinate frame for voxel-wise comparison of MR and DTI appearance across time. All original datasets were mapped into this frame and structural image data was additionally intensity normalized. In addition, myelinated white matter probabilistic segmentations from our neonate tissue segmentation were mapped into the same space to study how our segmentation results were affected by the changing intensity characteristics in early development Linear regression maps and p-value maps were computed and visualized. The resulting visualization of voxelswise corresponding maps of all MR and DTI properties captures early development information in MR imagery. Surprisingly, we encountered regions of seemingly decreased myelinated WM probability over time even though we expected a confident increase for all of the brain. The intensity changes in the MR images in those regions help explain this counterintuitive result. The regressional results indicate that this is an effect of intensity changes due not solely to myelination processes but also likely brain dehydration processes in early postnatal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2010
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2010
EventMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 16 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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