Publications by Year: 2011


Noninvasively mapping the layout of cortical areas in humans is a continuing challenge for neuroscience. We present a new method of mapping cortical areas based on myelin content as revealed by T1-weighted (T1w) and T2-weighted (T2w) MRI. The method is generalizable across different 3T scanners and pulse sequences. We use the ratio of T1w/T2w image intensities to eliminate the MR-related image intensity bias and enhance the contrast to noise ratio for myelin. Data from each subject were mapped to the cortical surface and aligned across individuals using surface-based registration. The spatial gradient of the group average myelin map provides an observer-independent measure of sharp transitions in myelin content across the surface—i.e., putative cortical areal borders. We found excellent agreement between the gradients of the myelin maps and the gradients of published probabilistic cytoarchitectonically defined cortical areas that were registered to the same surface-based atlas. For other cortical regions, we used published anatomical and functional information to make putative identifications of dozens of cortical areas or candidate areas. In general, primary and early unimodal association cortices are heavily myelinated and higher, multimodal, association cortices are more lightly myelinated, but there are notable exceptions in the literature that are confirmed by our results. The overall pattern in the myelin maps also has important correlations with the developmental onset of subcortical white matter myelination, evolutionary cortical areal expansion in humans compared with macaques, postnatal cortical expansion in humans, and maps of neuronal density in non-human primates.
Risholm P, Golby AJ, Wells WM III. Multimodal Image Registration for Preoperative Planning and Image-guided Neurosurgical Procedures. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2011;22(2):197–206.
Image registration is the process of transforming images acquired at different time points, or with different imaging modalities, into the same coordinate system. It is an essential part of any neurosurgical planning and navigation system because it facilitates combining images with important complementary, structural, and functional information to improve the information based on which a surgeon makes critical decisions. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has been one of the pioneers in developing intraoperative registration methods for aligning preoperative and intraoperative images of the brain. This article presents an overview of intraoperative registration and highlights some recent developments at BWH.
Zhu L, Gao Y, Mohan V, Stillman A, Faber T, Tannenbaum A. Estimation of Myocardial Volume at Risk from CT Angiography. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2011;7963:79632A-79632A6.
The determination of myocardial volume at risk distal to coronary stenosis provides important information for prognosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. In this paper, we present a novel computational framework for estimating the myocardial volume at risk in computed tomography angiography (CTA) imagery. Initially, epicardial and endocardial surfaces, and coronary arteries are extracted using an active contour method. Then, the extracted coronary arteries are projected onto the epicardial surface, and each point on this surface is associated with its closest coronary artery using the geodesic distance measurement. The likely myocardial region at risk on the epicardial surface caused by a stenosis is approximated by the region in which all its inner points are associated with the sub-branches distal to the stenosis on the coronary artery tree. Finally, the likely myocardial volume at risk is approximated by the volume in between the region at risk on the epicardial surface and its projection on the endocardial surface, which is expected to yield computational savings over risk volume estimation using the entire image volume. Furthermore, we expect increased accuracy since, as compared to prior work using the Euclidean distance, we employ the geodesic distance in this work. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach on pig heart CTA datasets.
Tokuda J, Mamata H, Gill RR, Hata N, Kikinis R, Padera RF, Lenkinski RE, Sugarbaker DJ, Hatabu H. Impact of nonrigid motion correction technique on pixel-wise pharmacokinetic analysis of free-breathing pulmonary dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011;33(4):968–73.
PURPOSE: To investigates the impact of nonrigid motion correction on pixel-wise pharmacokinetic analysis of free-breathing DCE-MRI in patients with solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs). Misalignment of focal lesions due to respiratory motion in free-breathing dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) precludes obtaining reliable time-intensity curves, which are crucial for pharmacokinetic analysis for tissue characterization. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Single-slice 2D DCE-MRI was obtained in 15 patients. Misalignments of SPNs were corrected using nonrigid B-spline image registration. Pixel-wise pharmacokinetic parameters K(trans) , v(e) , and k(ep) were estimated from both original and motion-corrected DCE-MRI by fitting the two-compartment pharmacokinetic model to the time-intensity curve obtained in each pixel. The "goodness-of-fit" was tested with χ(2) -test in pixel-by-pixel basis to evaluate the reliability of the parameters. The percentages of reliable pixels within the SPNs were compared between the original and motion-corrected DCE-MRI. In addition, the parameters obtained from benign and malignant SPNs were compared.
Donnell LJO, Westin CF. An Introduction to Diffusion Tensor Image Analysis. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2011;22(2):185–96.
Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) is a relatively new technology that is popular for imaging the white matter of the brain. This article provides a basic and broad overview of DTI to enable the reader to develop an intuitive understanding of these types of data, and an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.
Nir G, Tannenbaum A. Temporal Registration of Partial Data using Particle Filtering. Proc Int Conf Image Proc. 2011;:2177–80.
We propose a particle filtering framework for rigid registration of a model image to a time-series of partially observed images. The method incorporates a model-based segmentation technique in order to track the pose dynamics of an underlying observed object with time. An applicable algorithm is derived by employing the proposed framework for registration of a 3D model of an anatomical structure, which was segmented from preoperative images, to consecutive axial 2D slices of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which are acquired intraoperatively over time. The process is fast and robust with respect to image noise and clutter, variations of illumination, and different imaging modalities.
Depa M, Holmvang G, Schmidt EJ, Golland P, Sabuncu MR. Towards Effcient Label Fusion by Pre-Alignment of Training Data. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2011;14(WS):38–46.
Label fusion is a multi-atlas segmentation approach that explicitly maintains and exploits the entire training dataset, rather than a parametric summary of it. Recent empirical evidence suggests that label fusion can achieve significantly better segmentation accuracy over classical parametric atlas methods that utilize a single coordinate frame. However, this performance gain typically comes at an increased computational cost due to the many pairwise registrations between the novel image and training images. In this work, we present a modified label fusion method that approximates these pairwise warps by first pre-registering the training images via a diffeomorphic groupwise registration algorithm. The novel image is then only registered once, to the template image that represents the average training subject. The pairwise spatial correspondences between the novel image and training images are then computed via concatenation of appropriate transformations. Our experiments on cardiac MR data suggest that this strategy for nonparametric segmentation dramatically improves computational efficiency, while producing segmentation results that are statistically indistinguishable from those obtained with regular label fusion. These results suggest that the key benefit of label fusion approaches is the underlying nonparametric inference algorithm, and not the multiple pairwise registrations.
Sundaram P, Mulkern RV, Wells WM, Triantafyllou C, Loddenkemper T, Bubrick EJ, Orbach DB. An empirical investigation of motion effects in eMRI of interictal epileptiform spikes. Magn Reson Imaging. 2011;29(10):1401–9.
We recently developed a functional neuroimaging technique called encephalographic magnetic resonance imaging (eMRI). Our method acquires rapid single-shot gradient-echo echo-planar MRI (repetition time=47 ms); it attempts to measure an MR signal more directly linked to neuronal electromagnetic activity than existing methods. To increase the likelihood of detecting such an MR signal, we recorded concurrent MRI and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) during fast (20-200 ms), localized, high-amplitude (>50 μV on EEG) cortical discharges in a cohort of focal epilepsy patients. Seen on EEG as interictal spikes, these discharges occur in between seizures and induced easily detectable MR magnitude and phase changes concurrent with the spikes with a lag of milliseconds to tens of milliseconds. Due to the time scale of the responses, localized changes in blood flow or hemoglobin oxygenation are unlikely to cause the MR signal changes that we observed. While the precise underlying mechanisms are unclear, in this study, we empirically investigate one potentially important confounding variable - motion. Head motion in the scanner affects both EEG and MR recording. It can produce brief "spike-like" artifacts on EEG and induce large MR signal changes similar to our interictal spike-related signal changes. In order to explore the possibility that interictal spikes were associated with head motions (although such an association had never been reported), we had previously tracked head position in epilepsy patients during interictal spikes and explicitly demonstrated a lack of associated head motion. However, that study was performed outside the MR scanner, and the root-mean-square error in the head position measurement was 0.7 mm. The large inaccuracy in this measurement therefore did not definitively rule out motion as a possible signal generator. In this study, we instructed healthy subjects to make deliberate brief (
Le Faucheur X, Hershkovits E, Tannenbaum R, Tannenbaum A. Nonparametric clustering for studying RNA conformations. IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2011;8(6):1604–19.
The local conformation of RNA molecules is an important factor in determining their catalytic and binding properties. The analysis of such conformations is particularly difficult due to the large number of degrees of freedom, such as the measured torsion angles per residue and the interatomic distances among interacting residues. In this work, we use a nearest-neighbor search method based on the statistical mechanical Potts model to find clusters in the RNA conformational space. The proposed technique is mostly automatic and may be applied to problems, where there is no prior knowledge on the structure of the data space in contrast to many other clustering techniques. Results are reported for both single residue conformations, where the parameter set of the data space includes four to seven torsional angles, and base pair geometries, where the data space is reduced to two dimensions. Moreover, new results are reported for base stacking geometries. For the first two cases, i.e., single residue conformations and base pair geometries, we get a very good match between the results of the proposed clustering method and the known classifications with only few exceptions. For the case of base stacking geometries, we validate our classification with respect to geometrical constraints and describe the content, and the geometry of the new clusters.
Kubicki M, Alvarado JL, Westin CF, Tate DF, Markant D, Terry DP, Whitford TJ, De Siebenthal J, Bouix S, McCarley RW, Kikinis R, Shenton ME. Stochastic tractography study of Inferior Frontal Gyrus anatomical connectivity in schizophrenia. Neuroimage. 2011;55(4):1657–64.
BACKGROUND: Abnormalities within language-related anatomical structures have been associated with clinical symptoms and with language and memory deficits in schizophrenia. Recent studies suggest disruptions in functional connectivity within the Inferior Frontal Gyrus (IFG) network in schizophrenia. However, due to technical challenges, anatomical connectivity abnormalities within this network and their involvement in clinical and cognitive deficits have not been studied. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Diffusion and anatomical scans were obtained from 23 chronic schizophrenia patients and 23 matched controls. The IFG was automatically segmented, and its white matter connections extracted and measured with newly-developed stochastic tractography tools. Correlations between anatomical structures and measures of semantic processing were also performed. RESULTS: White Matter connections between the IFG and posterior brain regions followed two distinct pathways: dorsal and ventral. Both demonstrated left lateralization, but ventral pathway abnormalities were only found in schizophrenia. IFG volumes also showed left lateralization and abnormalities in schizophrenia. Further, despite similar laterality and abnormality patterns, IFG volumes and white matter connectivity were not correlated with each other in either group. Interestingly, measures of semantic processing correlated with white matter connectivity in schizophrenia and with gray matter volumes in controls. Finally, hallucinations were best predicted by both gray matter and white matter measures together. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest abnormalities within the ventral IFG network in schizophrenia, with white matter abnormalities better predicting semantic deficits. The lack of a statistical relationship between coexisting gray and white matter deficits might suggest their different origin and the necessity for a multimodal approach in future schizophrenia studies.