Publications by Year: 2015

Chen GH, Shah D, Golland P. A Latent Source Model for Patch-Based Image Segmentation. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2015;9351 :140-8.Abstract

Despite the popularity and empirical success of patch-based nearest-neighbor and weighted majority voting approaches to medical image segmentation, there has been no theoretical development on when, why, and how well these nonparametric methods work. We bridge this gap by providing a theoretical performance guarantee for nearest-neighbor and weighted majority voting segmentation under a new probabilistic model for patch-based image segmentation. Our analysis relies on a new local property for how similar nearby patches are, and fuses existing lines of work on modeling natural imagery patches and theory for nonparametric classification. We use the model to derive a new patch-based segmentation algorithm that iterates between inferring local label patches and merging these local segmentations to produce a globally consistent image segmentation. Many existing patch-based algorithms arise as special cases of the new algorithm.

Liu S, Cai W, Liu S, Zhang F, Fulham M, Feng D, Pujol S, Kikinis R. Multimodal Neuroimaging Computing: A Review of the Applications in Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Brain Inform. 2015;2 :167-80.Abstract
Multimodal neuroimaging is increasingly used in neuroscience research, as it overcomes the limitations of individual modalities. One of the most important applications of multimodal neuroimaging is the provision of vital diagnostic data for neuropsychiatric disorders. Multimodal neuroimaging computing enables the visualization and quantitative analysis of the alterations in brain structure and function, and has reshaped how neuroscience research is carried out. Research in this area is growing exponentially, and so it is an appropriate time to review the current and future development of this emerging area. Hence, in this paper, we review the recent advances in multimodal neuroimaging (MRI, PET) and electrophysiological (EEG, MEG) technologies, and their applications to the neuropsychiatric disorders. We also outline some future directions for multimodal neuroimaging where researchers will design more advanced methods and models for neuropsychiatric research.
Liu S, Cai W, Liu S, Zhang F, Fulham M, Feng D, Pujol S, Kikinis R. Multimodal Neuroimaging Computing: The Workflows, Methods, and Platforms. Brain Inform. 2015;2 :181-95.Abstract
The last two decades have witnessed the explosive growth in the development and use of noninvasive neuroimaging technologies that advance the research on human brain under normal and pathological conditions. Multimodal neuroimaging has become a major driver of current neuroimaging research due to the recognition of the clinical benefits of multimodal data, and the better access to hybrid devices. Multimodal neuroimaging computing is very challenging, and requires sophisticated computing to address the variations in spatiotemporal resolution and merge the biophysical/biochemical information. We review the current workflows and methods for multimodal neuroimaging computing, and also demonstrate how to conduct research using the established neuroimaging computing packages and platforms.
Ratner V, Zhu L, Kolesov I, Nedergaard M, Benveniste H, Tannenbaum A. Optimal-mass-transfer-based estimation of glymphatic transport in living brain. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2015;9413.Abstract
It was recently shown that the brain-wide cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid exchange system designated the 'glymphatic pathway' plays a key role in removing waste products from the brain, similarly to the lymphatic system in other body organs(1,2). It is therefore important to study the flow patterns of glymphatic transport through the live brain in order to better understand its functionality in normal and pathological states. Unlike blood, the CSF does not flow rapidly through a network of dedicated vessels, but rather through para-vascular channels and brain parenchyma in a slower time-domain, and thus conventional fMRI or other blood-flow sensitive MRI sequences do not provide much useful information about the desired flow patterns. We have accordingly analyzed a series of MRI images, taken at different times, of the brain of a live rat, which was injected with a paramagnetic tracer into the CSF via the lumbar intrathecal space of the spine. Our goal is twofold: (a) find glymphatic (tracer) flow directions in the live rodent brain; and (b) provide a model of a (healthy) brain that will allow the prediction of tracer concentrations given initial conditions. We model the liquid flow through the brain by the diffusion equation. We then use the Optimal Mass Transfer (OMT) approach(3) to derive the glymphatic flow vector field, and estimate the diffusion tensors by analyzing the (changes in the) flow. Simulations show that the resulting model successfully reproduces the dominant features of the experimental data.
Langs G, Golland P, Ghosh SS. Predicting Activation Across Individuals with Resting-State Functional Connectivity Based Multi-Atlas Label Fusion. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2015;9350 :313-20.Abstract

The alignment of brain imaging data for functional neuroimaging studies is challenging due to the discrepancy between correspondence of morphology, and equivalence of functional role. In this paper we map functional activation areas across individuals by a multi-atlas label fusion algorithm in a functional space. We learn the manifold of resting-state fMRI signals in each individual, and perform manifold alignment in an embedding space. We then transfer activation predictions from a source population to a target subject via multi-atlas label fusion. The cost function is derived from the aligned manifolds, so that the resulting correspondences are derived based on the similarity of intrinsic connectivity architecture. Experiments show that the resulting label fusion predicts activation evoked by various experiment conditions with higher accuracy than relying on morphological alignment. Interestingly, the distribution of this gain is distributed heterogeneously across the cortex, and across tasks. This offers insights into the relationship between intrinsic connectivity, morphology and task activation. Practically, the mechanism can serve as prior, and provides an avenue to infer task-related activation in individuals for whom only resting data is available.

Ning L, Georgiou TT, Tannenbaum A. On Matrix-Valued Monge-Kantorovich Optimal Mass Transport. IEEE Trans Automat Contr. 2015;60 (2) :373-82.Abstract
We present a particular formulation of optimal transport for matrix-valued density functions. Our aim is to devise a geometry which is suitable for comparing power spectral densities of multivariable time series. More specifically, the value of a power spectral density at a given frequency, which in the matricial case encodes power as well as directionality, is thought of as a proxy for a "matrix-valued mass density." Optimal transport aims at establishing a natural metric in the space of such matrix-valued densities which takes into account differences between power across frequencies as well as misalignment of the corresponding principle axes. Thus, our transportation cost includes a cost of transference of power between frequencies together with a cost of rotating the principle directions of matrix densities. The two endpoint matrix-valued densities can be thought of as marginals of a joint matrix-valued density on a tensor product space. This joint density, very much as in the classical Monge-Kantorovich setting, can be thought to specify the transportation plan. Contrary to the classical setting, the optimal transport plan for matrices is no longer supported on a thin zero-measure set.
Sjölund J, Szczepankiewicz F, Nilsson M, Topgaard D, Westin C-F, Knutsson H. Constrained Optimization of Gradient Waveforms for Generalized Diffusion Encoding. J Magn Reson. 2015;261 :157-68.Abstract

Diffusion MRI is a useful probe of tissue microstructure. The conventional diffusion encoding sequence, the single pulsed field gradient, has recently been challenged as more general gradient waveforms have been introduced. Out of these, we focus on q-space trajectory imaging, which generalizes the scalar b-value to a tensor valued entity. To take full advantage of its capabilities, it is imperative to respect the constraints imposed by the hardware, while at the same time maximizing the diffusion encoding strength. We provide a tool that achieves this by solving a constrained optimization problem that accommodates constraints on maximum gradient amplitude, slew rate, coil heating and positioning of radio frequency pulses. The method's efficacy and flexibility is demonstrated both experimentally and by comparison with previous work on optimization of isotropic diffusion sequences.

Wachinger C, Toews M, Langs G, Wells III WM, Golland P. Keypoint Transfer Segmentation. Inf Process Med Imaging. 2015;24 :233-45.Abstract

We present an image segmentation method that transfers label maps of entire organs from the training images to the novel image to be segmented. The transfer is based on sparse correspondences between keypoints that represent automatically identified distinctive image locations. Our segmentation algorithm consists of three steps: (i) keypoint matching, (ii) voting-based keypoint labeling, and (iii) keypoint-based probabilistic transfer of organ label maps. We introduce generative models for the inference of keypoint labels and for image segmentation, where keypoint matches are treated as a latent random variable and are marginalized out as part of the algorithm. We report segmentation results for abdominal organs in whole-body CT and in contrast-enhanced CT images. The accuracy of our method compares favorably to common multi-atlas segmentation while offering a speed-up of about three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, keypoint transfer requires no training phase or registration to an atlas. The algorithm's robustness enables the segmentation of scans with highly variable field-of-view.

Menze BH, Jakab A, Bauer S, Kalpathy-Cramer J, Farahani K, et al. The Multimodal Brain Tumor Image Segmentation Benchmark (BRATS). IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015;34 (10) :1993-2024.Abstract

In this paper we report the set-up and results of the Multimodal Brain Tumor Image Segmentation Benchmark (BRATS) organized in conjunction with the MICCAI 2012 and 2013 conferences. Twenty state-of-the-art tumor segmentation algorithms were applied to a set of 65 multi-contrast MR scans of low- and high-grade glioma patients-manually annotated by up to four raters-and to 65 comparable scans generated using tumor image simulation software. Quantitative evaluations revealed considerable disagreement between the human raters in segmenting various tumor sub-regions (Dice scores in the range 74%-85%), illustrating the difficulty of this task. We found that different algorithms worked best for different sub-regions (reaching performance comparable to human inter-rater variability), but that no single algorithm ranked in the top for all sub-regions simultaneously. Fusing several good algorithms using a hierarchical majority vote yielded segmentations that consistently ranked above all individual algorithms, indicating remaining opportunities for further methodological improvements. The BRATS image data and manual annotations continue to be publicly available through an online evaluation system as an ongoing benchmarking resource.

Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Sabuncu MR, Golland P. Predictive Modeling of Anatomy with Genetic and Clinical Data. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2015;9351 :519-26.Abstract

We present a semi-parametric generative model for predicting anatomy of a patient in subsequent scans following a single baseline image. Such predictive modeling promises to facilitate novel analyses in both voxel-level studies and longitudinal biomarker evaluation. We capture anatomical change through a combination of population-wide regression and a non-parametric model of the subject's health based on individual genetic and clinical indicators. In contrast to classical correlation and longitudinal analysis, we focus on predicting new observations from a single subject observation. We demonstrate prediction of follow-up anatomical scans in the ADNI cohort, and illustrate a novel analysis approach that compares a patient's scans to the predicted subject-specific healthy anatomical trajectory.

Maier-Hein KH, Westin C-F, Shenton ME, Weiner MW, Raj A, Thomann P, Kikinis R, Stieltjes B, Pasternak O. Widespread White Matter Degeneration Preceding the Onset of Dementia. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11 (5) :485-93.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Brain atrophy in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) introduces partial volume effects, limiting the sensitivity of diffusion tensor imaging to white matter microstructural degeneration. Appropriate correction isolates microstructural effects in MCI that might be precursors of Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: Forty-eight participants (18 MCI, 15 AD, and 15 healthy controls) had magnetic resonance imaging scans and clinical evaluations at baseline and follow-up after 36 months. Ten MCI subjects were diagnosed with AD at follow-up and eight remained MCI. Free-water (FW) corrected measures on the white matter skeleton were compared between groups. RESULTS: FW corrected radial diffusivity, but not uncorrected radial diffusivity, was increased across the brain of the converted group compared with the nonconverted group (P < .05). The extent of increases was similar to that found comparing AD with controls. CONCLUSION: Partial volume elimination reveals microstructural alterations preceding dementia. These alterations may prove to be an effective and feasible early biomarker of AD.