Characterizing growth patterns in longitudinal MRI using image contrast

Avantika Vardhan, Marcel Prastawa, Clement Vachet, Joseph Piven, Guido Gerig

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

    Abstract

    Understanding the growth patterns of the early brain is crucial to the study of neuro-development. In the early stages of brain growth, a rapid sequence of biophysical and chemical processes take place. A crucial component of these processes, known as myelination, consists of the formation of a myelin sheath around a nerve fiber, enabling the effective transmission of neural impulses. As the brain undergoes myelination, there is a subsequent change in the contrast between gray matter and white matter as observed in MR scans. In this work, gray-white matter contrast is proposed as an effective measure of appearance which is relatively invariant to location, scanner type, and scanning conditions. To validate this, contrast is computed over various cortical regions for an adult human phantom. MR (Magnetic Resonance) images of the phantom were repeatedly generated using different scanners, and at different locations. Contrast displays less variability over changing conditions of scan compared to intensity-based measures, demonstrating that it is less dependent than intensity on external factors. Additionally, contrast is used to analyze longitudinal MR scans of the early brain, belonging to healthy controls and Down's Syndrome (DS) patients. Kernel regression is used to model subject-specific trajectories of contrast changing with time. Trajectories of contrast changing with time, as well as time-based biomarkers extracted from contrast modeling, show large differences between groups. The preliminary applications of contrast based analysis indicate its future potential to reveal new information not covered by conventional volumetric or deformation-based analysis, particularly for distinguishing between normal and abnormal growth patterns.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2014
    Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
    PublisherSPIE
    ISBN (Print)9780819498274
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2014
    EventMedical Imaging 2014: Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
    Duration: Feb 16 2014Feb 18 2014

    Publication series

    NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
    Volume9034
    ISSN (Print)1605-7422

    Other

    OtherMedical Imaging 2014: Image Processing
    CountryUnited States
    CitySan Diego, CA
    Period2/16/142/18/14

    Keywords

    • Contrast
    • Contrast Change Trajectories
    • Early brain development
    • Reliability
    • Structural MRI
    • Time-based biomarkers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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