We propose a novel probabilistic framework to merge information from DWI tractography and resting-state fMRI correlations. In particular, we model the interaction of latent anatomical and functional connectivity templates between brain regions and present an intuitive extension to population studies. We employ a mean-field approximation to fit the new model to the data. The resulting algorithm identifies differences in latent connectivity between the groups. We demonstrate our method on a study of normal controls and schizophrenia patients.
Publications by Year: 2010
In analyzing diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, multi-tensor models address the limitations of the single diffusion tensor in situations of partial voluming and fiber crossings. However, selection of a suitable number of fibers and numerical difficulties in model fitting have limited their practical use. This paper addresses both problems by making spherical deconvolution part of the fitting process: We demonstrate that with an appropriate kernel, the deconvolution provides a reliable approximative fit that is efficiently refined by a subsequent descent-type optimization. Moreover, deciding on the number of fibers based on the orientation distribution function produces favorable results when compared to the traditional F-Test. Our work demonstrates the benefits of unifying previously divergent lines of work in diffusion image analysis.
OBJECTIVE: This observational cohort study investigated the seasonal prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity (likelihood and intensity), as reflected by new lesions from serial T2-weighted MRI, a sensitive marker of subclinical disease activity. METHODS: Disease activity was assessed from the appearance of new T2 lesions on 939 separate brain MRI examinations in 44 untreated patients with MS. Likelihood functions for MS disease activity were derived, accounting for the temporal uncertainty of new lesion occurrence, individual levels of disease activity, and uneven examination intervals. Both likelihood and intensity of disease activity were compared with the time of year (season) and regional climate data (temperature, solar radiation, precipitation) and among relapsing and progressive disease phenotypes. Contrast-enhancing lesions and attack counts were also compared for seasonal effects. RESULTS: Unlike contrast enhancement or attacks, new T2 activity revealed a likelihood 2-3 times higher in March-August than during the rest of the year, and correlated strongly with regional climate data, in particular solar radiation. In addition to the likelihood or prevalence, disease intensity was also elevated during the summer season. The elevated risk season appears to lessen for progressive MS and occur about 2 months earlier. CONCLUSION: This study documents evidence of a strong seasonal pattern in subclinical MS activity based on noncontrast brain MRI. The observed seasonality in MS disease activity has implications for trial design and therapy assessment. The observed activity pattern is suggestive of a modulating role of seasonally changing environmental factors or season-dependent metabolic activity.
Ross JC, Estepar RSJ, Kindlmann G, Díaz A, Westin CF, Silverman EK, Washko GR. Automatic lung lobe segmentation using particles, thin plate splines, and maximum a posteriori estimation. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2010;13(Pt 3):163–71.
We present a fully automatic lung lobe segmentation algorithm that is effective in high resolution computed tomography (CT) datasets in the presence of confounding factors such as incomplete fissures (anatomical structures indicating lobe boundaries), advanced disease states, high body mass index (BMI), and low-dose scanning protocols. In contrast to other algorithms that leverage segmentations of auxiliary structures (esp. vessels and airways), we rely only upon image features indicating fissure locations. We employ a particle system that samples the image domain and provides a set of candidate fissure locations. We follow this stage with maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation to eliminate poor candidates and then perform a post-processing operation to remove remaining noise particles. We then fit a thin plate spline (TPS) interpolating surface to the fissure particles to form the final lung lobe segmentation. Results indicate that our algorithm performs comparably to pulmonologist-generated lung lobe segmentations on a set of challenging cases.
Kikinis Z, Fallon JH, Niznikiewicz M, Nestor PG, Davidson C, Bobrow L, Pelavin PE, Fischl B, Yendiki A, McCarley RW, Kikinis R, Kubicki M, Shenton ME. Gray Matter Volume Reduction in Rostral Middle Frontal Gyrus in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2010;123(2-3):153–9.
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is a brain region that has figured prominently in studies of schizophrenia and working memory, yet the exact neuroanatomical localization of this brain region remains to be defined. DLPFC primarily involves the superior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus (MFG). The latter, however is not a single neuroanatomical entity but instead is comprised of rostral (anterior, middle, and posterior) and caudal regions. In this study we used structural MRI to develop a method for parcellating MFG into its component parts. We focused on this region of DLPFC because it includes BA46, a region involved in working memory. We evaluated volume differences in MFG in 20 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 20 healthy controls. Mid-rostral MFG (MR-MFG) was delineated within the rostral MFG using anterior and posterior neuroanatomical landmarks derived from cytoarchitectonic definitions of BA46. Gray matter volumes of MR-MFG were then compared between groups, and a significant reduction in gray matter volume was observed (p<0.008), but not in other areas of MFG (i.e., anterior or posterior rostral MFG, or caudal regions of MFG). Our results demonstrate that volumetric alterations in MFG gray matter are localized exclusively to MR-MFG. 3D reconstructions of the cortical surface made it possible to follow MFG into its anterior part, where other approaches have failed. This method of parcellation offers a more precise way of measuring MR-MFG that will likely be important in further documentation of DLPFC anomalies in schizophrenia.
Donnell LJO, Westin CF, Norton I, Whalen S, Rigolo L, Propper R, Golby AJ. The Fiber Laterality Histogram: A New Way to Measure White Matter Asymmetry. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2010;13(Pt 2):225–32.
The quantification of brain asymmetries may provide biomarkers for presurgical localization of language function and can improve our understanding of neural structure-function relationships in health and disease. We propose a new method for studying the asymmetry of the white matter tracts in the entire brain, and we apply it to a preliminary study of normal subjects across the handedness spectrum. Methods for quantifying white matter asymmetry using diffusion MRI tractography have thus far been based on comparing numbers of fibers or volumes of a single fiber tract across hemispheres. We propose a generalization of such methods, where the "number of fibers" laterality measurement is extended to the entire brain using a soft fiber comparison metric. We summarize the distribution of fiber laterality indices over the whole brain in a histogram, and we measure properties of the distribution such as its skewness, median, and inter-quartile range. The whole-brain fiber laterality histogram can be measured in an exploratory fashion without hypothesizing asymmetries only in particular structures. We demonstrate an overall difference in white matter asymmetry in consistent- and inconsistent-handers: the skewness of the fiber laterality histogram is significantly different across handedness groups.
We introduce a generative probabilistic model for segmentation of tumors in multi-dimensional images. The model allows for different tumor boundaries in each channel, reflecting difference in tumor appearance across modalities. We augment a probabilistic atlas of healthy tissue priors with a latent atlas of the lesion and derive the estimation algorithm to extract tumor boundaries and the latent atlas from the image data. We present experiments on 25 glioma patient data sets, demonstrating significant improvement over the traditional multivariate tumor segmentation.
Neuronal currents produce local electromagnetic fields that can potentially modulate the phase of the magnetic resonance signal and thus provide a contrast mechanism tightly linked to neuronal activity. Previous work has demonstrated the feasibility of direct MRI of neuronal activity in phantoms and cell culture, but in vivo efforts have yielded inconclusive, conflicting results. The likelihood of detecting and validating such signals can be increased with (i) fast gradient-echo echo-planar imaging, with acquisition rates sufficient to resolve neuronal activity, (ii) subjects with epilepsy, who frequently experience stereotypical electromagnetic discharges between seizures, expressed as brief, localized, high-amplitude spikes (interictal discharges), and (iii) concurrent electroencephalography. This work demonstrates that both MR magnitude and phase show large-amplitude changes concurrent with electroencephalography spikes. We found a temporal derivative relationship between MR phase and scalp electroencephalography, suggesting that the MR phase changes may be tightly linked to local cerebral activity. We refer to this manner of MR acquisition, designed explicitly to track the electroencephalography, as encephalographic MRI (eMRI). Potential extension of this technique into a general purpose functional neuroimaging tool requires further study of the MR signal changes accompanying lower amplitude neuronal activity than those discussed here.
Spatial priors, such as probabilistic atlases, play an important role in MRI segmentation. However, the availability of comprehensive, reliable and suitable manual segmentations for atlas construction is limited. We therefore propose a method for joint segmentation of corresponding regions of interest in a collection of aligned images that does not require labeled training data. Instead, a latent atlas, initialized by at most a single manual segmentation, is inferred from the evolving segmentations of the ensemble. The algorithm is based on probabilistic principles but is solved using partial differential equations (PDEs) and energy minimization criteria. We evaluate the method on two datasets, segmenting subcortical and cortical structures in a multi-subject study and extracting brain tumors in a single-subject multi-modal longitudinal experiment. We compare the segmentation results to manual segmentations, when those exist, and to the results of a state-of-the-art atlas-based segmentation method. The quality of the results supports the latent atlas as a promising alternative when existing atlases are not compatible with the images to be segmented.
This paper proposes a novel framework for joint orientation distribution function estimation and tractography based on a new class of tensor kernels. Existing techniques estimate the local fiber orientation at each voxel independently so there is no running knowledge of confidence in the measured signal or estimated fiber orientation. In this work, fiber tracking is formulated as recursive estimation: at each step of tracing the fiber, the current estimate of the orientation distribution function is guided by the previous. To do this, second-and higher-order tensor-based kernels are employed. A weighted mixture of these tensor kernels is used for representing crossing and branching fiber structures. While tracing a fiber, the parameters of the mixture model are estimated based on the orientation distribution function at that location and a smoothness term that penalizes deviation from the previous estimate along the fiber direction. This ensures smooth estimation along the direction of propagation of the fiber. In synthetic experiments, using a mixture of two and three components it is shown that this approach improves the angular resolution at crossings. In vivo experiments using two and three components examine the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract and confirm the ability to trace through regions known to contain such crossing and branching.