Publications

2015
Liu S, Liu S, Cai W, Pujol S, Kikinis R, Feng DD. Multi-Phase Feature Representation Learning for Neurodegenerative Disease Diagnosis. Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence. 2015;LNAI 8955 :350-9.Abstract
Feature learning with high dimensional neuroimaging features has been explored for the applications on neurodegenerative diseases. Low-dimensional biomarkers, such as mental status test scores and cerebrospinal fluid level, are essential in clinical diagnosis of neurological disorders, because they could be simple and effective for the clinicians to assess the disorder’s progression and severity. Rather than only using the low-dimensional biomarkers as inputs for decision making systems, we believe that such low-dimensional biomarkers can be used for enhancing the feature learning pipeline. In this study, we proposed a novel feature representation learning framework, Multi-Phase Feature Representation (MPFR), with low-dimensional biomarkers embedded. MPFR learns high-level neuroimaging features by extracting the associations between the low-dimensional biomarkers and the highdimensional neuroimaging features with a deep neural network. We validated the proposed framework using the Mini-Mental-State-Examination (MMSE) scores as a low-dimensional biomarker and multi-modal neuroimaging data as the high-dimensional neuroimaging features from the ADNI baseline cohort. The proposed approach outperformed the original neural network in both binary and ternary Alzheimer’s disease classification tasks.
Liu ACALCI 2015
Klein T, Wells III WM. RF Ultrasound Distribution-Based Confidence Maps. Int Conf Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2015;18 (Pt2) :595-602.Abstract
Ultrasound is becoming an ever increasingly important modality in medical care. However, underlying physical acquisition principles are prone to image artifacts and result in overall quality variation. Therefore processing medical ultrasound data remains a challenging task. We propose a novel distribution-based measure of assessing the confidence in the signal, which emphasizes uncertainty in attenuated as well as shadow regions. In contrast to the similar recently proposed method that relies on image intensities, the new approach makes use of the enveloped-detected radio-frequency data, facilitating the use of Nakagami speckle statistics. Employing J-divergence as distance measure for the random-walk based algorithm, provides a natural measure of similarity, yielding a more reliable estimate of confidence. For evaluation of the model’s performance, tests are conducted on the application of shadow detection. Additionally, computed maps are presented for different organs such as neck, liver and prostate, showcasing the properties of the model. The probabilistic approach is shown to have beneficial features for image processing tasks.
 
Klein MICCAI 2015
King F, Jayender J, Pieper S, Kapur T, Lasso A, Fichtinger G. An Immersive Virtual Reality Environment for Diagnostic Imaging. Int Conf Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2015;18(WS). King MICCAI WS 2015
Talos I-F, Jakab M, Kikinis R. CT-based Atlas of the Abdomen. Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Surgical Planning Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, developed the SPL Abdominal Atlas. The atlas was derived from a computed tomography (CT) scan, using semi-automated image segmentation and three-dimensional reconstruction techniques. The current version consists of: 1. the original CT scan; 2. a set of detailed label maps; 3. a set of three-dimensional models of the labeled anatomical structures; 4. a mrml-file that allows loading all of the data into the 3D Slicer for visualization (see the tutorial associated with the atlas); 5. several pre-defined 3D-views (“anatomy teaching files”). The SPL Abdominal Atlas provides important reference information for surgical planning, anatomy teaching, and template driven segmentation. Visualization of the data requires Slicer 3. This software package can be downloaded from here. We are pleased to make this atlas available to our colleagues for free download. Please note that the data is being distributed under the Slicer license. By downloading these data, you agree to acknowledge our contribution in any of your publications that result form the use of this atlas. 
The Slicer4 version archived in a mrb (Medical Reality Bundle) file that contains the mrml scene file and all data for loading into Slicer 4 for displaying the volumes in 3D Slicer version 4.0 or greater, available for download.
This work is funded as part of the Neuroimaging Analysis Center, grant number P41 RR013218, by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and grant number P41 EB015902, by the NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the Google Faculty Research Award.
Contributors: Matthew D'Artista, Alex Kikinis, Tobias Schmidt, Svenja van der Gaag.
This atlas maybe viewed with our Open Anatomy Browser.
Richolt J, Jakab M, Kikinis R. MRI-based Atlas of the Knee. Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Surgical Planning Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, developed the SPL Knee Atlas. The atlas was derived from a MRI scan, using semi-automated image segmentation and three-dimensional reconstruction techniques. The current version consists of: 1. the original MRI scan; 2. a set of detailed label maps; 3. a set of three-dimensional models of the labeled anatomical structures; 4. a mrml-file that allows loading all of the data into the 3D Slicer for visualization. 5. several pre-defined 3D views (“anatomy teaching files”). The SPL Knee Atlas provides important reference information for anatomy teaching, and template driven segmentation. Visualization of the data requires Slicer 3. This software package can be downloaded from here. We are pleased to make this atlas available to our colleagues for free download. Please note that the data is being distributed under the Slicer license. By downloading these data, you agree to acknowledge our contribution in any of your publications that result form the use of this atlas. 
The Slicer4 version archived in a mrb (Medical Reality Bundle) file that contains the mrml scene file and all data for loading into Slicer 4 for displaying the volumes in 3D Slicer version 4.0 or greater, available for download.
This work is funded as part of the Neuroimaging Analysis Center, grant number P41 RR013218, by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and grant number P41 EB015902, by the NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the Google Faculty Research Award.
Contributors: Matthew D'Artista, Alex Kikinis.
This atlas maybe viewed with our Open Anatomy Browser.
Jakab M, Kikinis R. CT-based Atlas of the Head and Neck. Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.; 2015.Abstract
This Head and Neck Atlas has been made available by the Surgical Planning Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The data set consists of: 1. Reduced resolution (256x256) of the MANIX data set from the OSIRIX data sets. 2. A set of detailed label maps. 3. A set of three-dimensional models of the labeled anatomical structures. 4. Several pre-defined Scene Views (“anatomy teaching files”). 5. Annotation as supplementary information associated with a scene. 6. Anatomical model hierarchy. All in a mrb (Medical Reality Bundle) archive file that contains the mrml scene file and all data for loading into Slicer 4 for displaying the volumes in 3D Slicer version 4.0 or greater, available for download. The atlas data is made available under terms of the 3D Slicer License section B.
This work is funded as part of the Neuroimaging Analysis Center, grant number P41 EB015902, by the NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the Google Faculty Research Award.
Contributors: Neha Agrawal, Matthew D'Artista, Susan Kikinis, Dashawn Richardson, Daniel Sachs.
This atlas maybe viewed with our Open Anatomy Browser.
O'Donnell LJ, Pasternak O. Does diffusion MRI tell us anything about the white matter? An overview of methods and pitfalls. Schizophr Res. 2015;161 (1) :133-41.Abstract
One key pitfall in diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) clinical neuroimaging research is the challenge of understanding and interpreting the results of a complex analysis pipeline. The sophisticated algorithms employed by the analysis software, combined with the relatively non-specific nature of many diffusion measurements, lead to challenges in interpretation of the results. This paper is aimed at an intended audience of clinical researchers who are learning about dMRI or trying to interpret dMRI results, and who may be wondering "Does dMRI tell us anything about the white matter?" We present a critical review of dMRI methods and measures used in clinical neuroimaging research, focusing on the most commonly used analysis methods and the most commonly reported measures. We describe important pitfalls in every section, and provide extensive references for the reader interested in more detail.
Pasternak O, Westin C-F, Dahlben B, Bouix S, Kubicki M. The Extent of Diffusion MRI Markers of Neuroinflammation and White Matter Deterioration in Chronic Schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2015;161 (1) :113-8.Abstract
In a previous study we have demonstrated, using a novel diffusion MRI analysis called free-water imaging, that the early stages of schizophrenia are more likely associated with a neuroinflammatory response and less so with a white matter deterioration or a demyelination process. What is not known is how neuroinflammation and white matter deterioration change along the progression of the disorder. In this study we apply the free-water measures on a population of 29 chronic schizophrenia subjects and compare them with 25 matching controls. Our aim was to compare the extent of free-water imaging abnormalities in chronic subjects with the ones previously obtained for subjects at their first psychotic episode. We find that chronic subjects showed a limited extent of abnormal increase in the volume of the extracellular space, suggesting a less extensive neuroinflammatory response relative to patients at the onset of schizophrenia. At the same time, the chronic schizophrenia subjects had greater extent of reduced fractional anisotropy compared to the previous study, suggesting increased white matter deterioration along the progression of the disease. Our findings substantiate the role of neuroinflammation in the earlier stages of the disorder, and the effect of neurodegeneration that is worsening in the chronic phase.
Balasubramanian M, Mulkern RV, Wells III WM, Sundaram P, Orbach DB. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Ionic Currents in Solution: The Effect of Magnetohydrodynamic Flow. Magn Reson Med. 2015;74 (4) :1145-55.Abstract

PURPOSE: Reliably detecting MRI signals in the brain that are more tightly coupled to neural activity than blood-oxygen-level-dependent fMRI signals could not only prove valuable for basic scientific research but could also enhance clinical applications such as epilepsy presurgical mapping. This endeavor will likely benefit from an improved understanding of the behavior of ionic currents, the mediators of neural activity, in the presence of the strong magnetic fields that are typical of modern-day MRI scanners. THEORY: Of the various mechanisms that have been proposed to explain the behavior of ionic volume currents in a magnetic field, only one-magnetohydrodynamic flow-predicts a slow evolution of signals, on the order of a minute for normal saline in a typical MRI scanner. METHODS: This prediction was tested by scanning a volume-current phantom containing normal saline with gradient-echo-planar imaging at 3 T. RESULTS: Greater signal changes were observed in the phase of the images than in the magnitude, with the changes evolving on the order of a minute. CONCLUSION: These results provide experimental support for the MHD flow hypothesis. Furthermore, MHD-driven cerebrospinal fluid flow could provide a novel fMRI contrast mechanism.

Szczepankiewicz F, Lasič S, van Westen D, Sundgren PC, Englund E, Westin C-F, Ståhlberg F, Lätt J, Topgaard D, Nilsson M. Quantification of Microscopic Diffusion Anisotropy Disentangles Effects of Orientation Dispersion from Microstructure: Applications in Healthy Volunteers and in Brain Tumors. Neuroimage. 2015;104 :241-52.Abstract
The anisotropy of water diffusion in brain tissue is affected by both disease and development. This change can be detected using diffusion MRI and is often quantified by the fractional anisotropy (FA) derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Although FA is sensitive to anisotropic cell structures, such as axons, it is also sensitive to their orientation dispersion. This is a major limitation to the use of FA as a biomarker for "tissue integrity", especially in regions of complex microarchitecture. In this work, we seek to circumvent this limitation by disentangling the effects of microscopic diffusion anisotropy from the orientation dispersion. The microscopic fractional anisotropy (μFA) and the order parameter (OP) were calculated from the contrast between signal prepared with directional and isotropic diffusion encoding, where the latter was achieved by magic angle spinning of the q-vector (qMAS). These parameters were quantified in healthy volunteers and in two patients; one patient with meningioma and one with glioblastoma. Finally, we used simulations to elucidate the relation between FA and μFA in various micro-architectures. Generally, μFA was high in the white matter and low in the gray matter. In the white matter, the largest differences between μFA and FA were found in crossing white matter and in interfaces between large white matter tracts, where μFA was high while FA was low. Both tumor types exhibited a low FA, in contrast to the μFA which was high in the meningioma and low in the glioblastoma, indicating that the meningioma contained disordered anisotropic structures, while the glioblastoma did not. This interpretation was confirmed by histological examination. We conclude that FA from DTI reflects both the amount of diffusion anisotropy and orientation dispersion. We suggest that the μFA and OP may complement FA by independently quantifying the microscopic anisotropy and the level of orientation coherence.
Poynton CB, Jenkinson M, Adalsteinsson E, Sullivan EV, Pfefferbaum A, Wells III WM. Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping by Inversion of a Perturbation Field Model: Correlation with Brain Iron in Normal Aging. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015;34 (1) :339-53.Abstract

There is increasing evidence that iron deposition occurs in specific regions of the brain in normal aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's disease. Iron deposition changes the magnetic susceptibility of tissue, which alters the MR signal phase, and allows estimation of susceptibility differences using quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM). We present a method for quantifying susceptibility by inversion of a perturbation model, or "QSIP." The perturbation model relates phase to susceptibility using a kernel calculated in the spatial domain, in contrast to previous Fourier-based techniques. A tissue/air susceptibility atlas is used to estimate B0 inhomogeneity. QSIP estimates in young and elderly subjects are compared to postmortem iron estimates, maps of the Field-Dependent Relaxation Rate Increase, and the L1-QSM method. Results for both groups showed excellent agreement with published postmortem data and in vivo FDRI: statistically significant Spearman correlations ranging from Rho=0.905 to Rho=1.00 were obtained. QSIP also showed improvement over FDRI and L1-QSM: reduced variance in susceptibility estimates and statistically significant group differences were detected in striatal and brainstem nuclei, consistent with age-dependent iron accumulation in these regions.

Liu S, Liu S, Cai W, Che H, Pujol S, Kikinis R, Feng D, Fulham MJ. Multimodal neuroimaging feature learning for multiclass diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015;62 (4) :1132-40.Abstract
The accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is essential for patient care and will be increasingly important as disease modifying agents become available, early in the course of the disease. Although studies have applied machine learning methods for the computer-aided diagnosis of AD, a bottleneck in the diagnostic performance was shown in previous methods, due to the lacking of efficient strategies for representing neuroimaging biomarkers. In this study, we designed a novel diagnostic framework with deep learning architecture to aid the diagnosis of AD. This framework uses a zero-masking strategy for data fusion to extract complementary information from multiple data modalities. Compared to the previous state-of-the-art workflows, our method is capable of fusing multimodal neuroimaging features in one setting and has the potential to require less labeled data. A performance gain was achieved in both binary classification and multiclass classification of AD. The advantages and limitations of the proposed framework are discussed.
Wachinger C, Golland P, Kremen W, Fischl B, Reuter M, Reuter M. BrainPrint: A Discriminative Characterization of Brain Morphology. Neuroimage. 2015;109 :232-48.Abstract
We introduce BrainPrint, a compact and discriminative representation of brain morphology. BrainPrint captures shape information of an ensemble of cortical and subcortical structures by solving the eigenvalue problem of the 2D and 3D Laplace-Beltrami operator on triangular (boundary) and tetrahedral (volumetric) meshes. This discriminative characterization enables new ways to study the similarity between brains; the focus can either be on a specific brain structure of interest or on the overall brain similarity. We highlight four applications for BrainPrint in this article: (i) subject identification, (ii) age and sex prediction, (iii) brain asymmetry analysis, and (iv) potential genetic influences on brain morphology. The properties of BrainPrint require the derivation of new algorithms to account for the heterogeneous mix of brain structures with varying discriminative power. We conduct experiments on three datasets, including over 3000 MRI scans from the ADNI database, 436 MRI scans from the OASIS dataset, and 236 MRI scans from the VETSA twin study. All processing steps for obtaining the compact representation are fully automated, making this processing framework particularly attractive for handling large datasets.
Mandl RCW, Pasternak O, Cahn W, Kubicki M, Kahn RS, Shenton ME, Hulshoff Pol HE. Comparing Free Water Imaging and Magnetization Transfer Measurements in Schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2015;161 (1) :126-32.Abstract
Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has been extensively used to study the microarchitecture of white matter in schizophrenia. However, popular DWI-derived measures such as fractional anisotropy (FA) may be sensitive to many types of pathologies, and thus the interpretation of reported differences in these measures remains difficult. Combining DWI with magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) - a putative measure of white matter myelination - can help us reveal the underlying mechanisms. Previous findings hypothesized that MTR differences in schizophrenia are associated with free water concentrations, which also affect the DWIs. In this study we use a recently proposed DWI-derived method called free-water imaging to assess this hypothesis. We have reanalyzed data from a previous study by using a fiber-based analysis of free-water imaging, providing a free-water fraction, as well as mean diffusivity and FA corrected for free-water, in addition to MTR along twelve major white matter fiber bundles in 40 schizophrenia patients and 40 healthy controls. We tested for group differences in each fiber bundle and for each measure separately and computed correlations between the MTR and the DWI-derived measures separately for both groups. Significant higher average MTR values in patients were found for the right uncinate fasciculus, the right arcuate fasciculus and the right inferior-frontal occipital fasciculus. No significant results were found for the other measures. No significant differences in correlations were found between MTR and the DWI-derived measures. The results suggest that MTR and free-water imaging measures can be considered complementary, promoting the acquisition of MTR in addition to DWI to identify group differences, as well as to better understand the underlying mechanisms in schizophrenia.
Radmanesh A, Zamani AA, Whalen S, Tie Y, Suarez RO, Golby AJ. Comparison of seeding methods for visualization of the corticospinal tracts using single tensor tractography. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2015;129 :44-9.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To compare five different seeding methods to delineate hand, foot, and lip components of the corticospinal tract (CST) using single tensor tractography. METHODS: We studied five healthy subjects and 10 brain tumor patients. For each subject, we used five different seeding methods, from (1) cerebral peduncle (CP), (2) posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), (3) white matter subjacent to functional MRI activations (fMRI), (4) whole brain and then selecting the fibers that pass through both fMRI and CP (WBF-CP), and (5) whole brain and then selecting the fibers that pass through both fMRI and PLIC (WBF-PLIC). Two blinded neuroradiologists rated delineations as anatomically successful or unsuccessful tractography. The proportions of successful trials from different methods were compared by Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: To delineate hand motor tract, seeding through fMRI activation areas was more effective than through CP (p<0.01), but not significantly different from PLIC (p>0.1). WBF-CP delineated hand motor tracts in a larger proportion of trials than CP alone (p<0.05). Similarly, WBF-PLIC depicted hand motor tracts in a larger proportion of trials than PLIC alone (p<0.01). Foot motor tracts were delineated in all trials by either PLIC or whole brain seeding (WBF-CP and WBF-PLIC). Seeding from CP or fMRI activation resulted in foot motor tract visualization in 87% of the trials (95% confidence interval: 60-98%). The lip motor tracts were delineated only by WBF-PLIC and in 36% of trials (95% confidence interval: 11-69%). CONCLUSIONS: Whole brain seeding and then selecting the tracts that pass through two anatomically relevant ROIs can delineate more plausible hand and lip motor tracts than seeding from a single ROI. Foot motor tracts can be successfully delineated regardless of the seeding method used.
Ning L, Georgiou TT, Tannenbaum A, Boyd SP. Linear Models Based on Noisy Data and the Frisch Scheme. SIAM Rev Soc Ind Appl Math. 2015;57 (2) :167-97.Abstract

We address the problem of identifying linear relations among variables based on noisy measurements. This is a central question in the search for structure in large data sets. Often a key assumption is that measurement errors in each variable are independent. This basic formulation has its roots in the work of Charles Spearman in 1904 and of Ragnar Frisch in the 1930s. Various topics such as errors-in-variables, factor analysis, and instrumental variables all refer to alternative viewpoints on this problem and on ways to account for the anticipated way that noise enters the data. In the present paper we begin by describing certain fundamental contributions by the founders of the field and provide alternative modern proofs to certain key results. We then go on to consider a modern viewpoint and novel numerical techniques to the problem. The central theme is expressed by the Frisch-Kalman dictum, which calls for identifying a noise contribution that allows a maximal number of simultaneous linear relations among the noise-free variables-a rank minimization problem. In the years since Frisch's original formulation, there have been several insights, including trace minimization as a convenient heuristic to replace rank minimization. We discuss convex relaxations and theoretical bounds on the rank that, when met, provide guarantees for global optimality. A complementary point of view to this minimum-rank dictum is presented in which models are sought leading to a uniformly optimal quadratic estimation error for the error-free variables. Points of contact between these formalisms are discussed, and alternative regularization schemes are presented.

Wachinger C, Golland P, Magnain C, Fischl B, Reuter M. Multi-modal Robust Inverse-consistent Linear Registration. Hum Brain Mapp. 2015;36 (4) :1365-80.Abstract
Registration performance can significantly deteriorate when image regions do not comply with model assumptions. Robust estimation improves registration accuracy by reducing or ignoring the contribution of voxels with large intensity differences, but existing approaches are limited to monomodal registration. In this work, we propose a robust and inverse-consistent technique for cross-modal, affine image registration. The algorithm is derived from a contextual framework of image registration. The key idea is to use a modality invariant representation of images based on local entropy estimation, and to incorporate a heteroskedastic noise model. This noise model allows us to draw the analogy to iteratively reweighted least squares estimation and to leverage existing weighting functions to account for differences in local information content in multimodal registration. Furthermore, we use the nonparametric windows density estimator to reliably calculate entropy of small image patches. Finally, we derive the Gauss-Newton update and show that it is equivalent to the efficient second-order minimization for the fully symmetric registration approach. We illustrate excellent performance of the proposed methods on datasets containing outliers for alignment of brain tumor, full head, and histology images.
Stamm JM, Koerte IK, Muehlmann M, Pasternak O, Bourlas AP, Baugh CM, Giwerc MY, Zhu A, Coleman MJ, Bouix S, et al. Age at First Exposure to Football Is Associated with Altered Corpus Callosum White Matter Microstructure in Former Professional Football Players. J Neurotrauma. 2015;32 (22) :1768-76.Abstract
Youth football players may incur hundreds of repetitive head impacts (RHI) in one season. Our recent research suggests that exposure to RHI during a critical neurodevelopmental period prior to age 12 may lead to greater later-life mood, behavioral, and cognitive impairments. Here, we examine the relationship between age of first exposure (AFE) to RHI through tackle football and later-life corpus callosum (CC) microstructure using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Forty retired National Football League (NFL) players, ages 40-65, were matched by age and divided into two groups based on their AFE to tackle football: before age 12 or at age 12 or older. Participants underwent DTI on a 3 Tesla Siemens (TIM-Verio) magnet. The whole CC and five subregions were defined and seeded using deterministic tractography. Dependent measures were fractional anisotropy (FA), trace, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity. Results showed that former NFL players in the AFE <12 group had significantly lower FA in anterior three CC regions and higher radial diffusivity in the most anterior CC region than those in the AFE ≥12 group. This is the first study to find a relationship between AFE to RHI and later-life CC microstructure. These results suggest that incurring RHI during critical periods of CC development may disrupt neurodevelopmental processes, including myelination, resulting in altered CC microstructure.
Wachinger C, Fritscher K, Sharp G, Golland P. Contour-Driven Atlas-Based Segmentation. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015;34 (12) :2492-505.Abstract
We propose new methods for automatic segmentation of images based on an atlas of manually labeled scans and contours in the image. First, we introduce a Bayesian framework for creating initial label maps from manually annotated training images. Within this framework, we model various registration- and patch-based segmentation techniques by changing the deformation field prior. Second, we perform contour-driven regression on the created label maps to refine the segmentation. Image contours and image parcellations give rise to non-stationary kernel functions that model the relationship between image locations. Setting the kernel to the covariance function in a Gaussian process establishes a distribution over label maps supported by image structures. Maximum a posteriori estimation of the distribution over label maps conditioned on the outcome of the atlas-based segmentation yields the refined segmentation. We evaluate the segmentation in two clinical applications: the segmentation of parotid glands in head and neck CT scans and the segmentation of the left atrium in cardiac MR angiography images.
Ning L, Westin C-F, Rathi Y. Estimating diffusion propagator and its moments using directional radial basis functions. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015;34 (10) :2058-78.Abstract
The ensemble average diffusion propagator (EAP) obtained from diffusion MRI (dMRI) data captures important structural properties of the underlying tissue. As such, it is imperative to derive an accurate estimate of the EAP from the acquired diffusion data. In this work, we propose a novel method for estimating the EAP by representing the diffusion signal as a linear combination of directional radial basis functions scattered in q-space. In particular, we focus on a special case of anisotropic Gaussian basis functions and derive analytical expressions for the diffusion orientation distribution function (ODF), the return-to-origin probability (RTOP), and mean-squared-displacement (MSD). A significant advantage of the proposed method is that the second and the fourth order moment tensors of the EAP can be computed explicitly. This allows for computing several novel scalar indices (from the moment tensors) such as mean-fourth-order-displacement (MFD) and generalized kurtosis (GK)-which is a generalization of the mean kurtosis measure used in diffusion kurtosis imaging. Additionally, we also propose novel scalar indices computed from the signal in q-space, called the q-space mean-squared-displacement (QMSD) and the q-space mean-fourth-order-displacement (QMFD), which are sensitive to short diffusion time scales. We validate our method extensively on data obtained from a physical phantom with known crossing angle as well as on in-vivo human brain data. Our experiments demonstrate the robustness of our method for different combinations of b-values and number of gradient directions.

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