OBJECTIVE: The corpus callosum, the largest white matter tract in the brain, is a midline structure associated with the formation of the hippocampus, septum pellucidum, and cingulate cortex, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Corpus callosum shape deformation, therefore, may reflect a midline neurodevelopmental abnormality.
METHOD: Corpus callosum area and shape were analyzed in 14 first-episode psychotic patients with schizophrenia, 19 first-episode psychotic patients with affective disorder, and 18 normal comparison subjects.
RESULTS: No statistically significant corpus callosum area differences between groups were found, but there were differences in the structure's shape between the patients with schizophrenia and the comparison subjects. A correlation between width and angle of the corpus callosum was found in patients with affective disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Corpus callosum shape abnormalities in first-episode psychotic patients with schizophrenia may reflect a midline neurodevelopmental abnormality.
OBJECTIVE: Disruptions in connectivity between the frontal and temporal lobes may explain some of the symptoms observed in schizophrenia. Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, however, have not shown compelling evidence for white matter abnormalities, because white matter fiber tracts cannot be visualized by conventional MRI. Diffusion tensor imaging is a relatively new technique that can detect subtle white matter abnormalities in vivo by assessing the degree to which directionally organized fibers have lost their normal integrity. The first three diffusion tensor imaging studies in schizophrenia showed lower anisotropic diffusion, relative to comparison subjects, in whole-brain white matter, prefrontal and temporal white matter, and the corpus callosum, respectively. Here the authors focus on fiber tracts forming temporal-frontal connections.
METHOD: Anisotropic diffusion was assessed in the uncinate fasciculus, the most prominent white matter tract connecting temporal and frontal brain regions, in 15 patients with chronic schizophrenia and 18 normal comparison subjects. A 1.5-T GE Echospeed system was used to acquire 4-mm-thick coronal line-scan diffusion tensor images. Maps of the fractional anisotropy were generated to quantify the water diffusion within the uncinate fasciculus.
RESULTS: Findings revealed a group-by-side interaction for fractional anisotropy and for uncinate fasciculus area, derived from automatic segmentation. The patients with schizophrenia showed a lack of normal left-greater-than-right asymmetry seen in the comparison subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate the importance of investigating white matter tracts in vivo in schizophrenia and support the hypothesis of a disruption in the normal pattern of connectivity between temporal and frontal brain regions in schizophrenia.
BACKGROUND: Recent investigations using MRI suggest that older persons with mobility impairment have a greater volume of abnormal cerebral white matter compared with persons with normal mobility, thus raising the possibility that those with impairment have lesions in areas critical for the control of mobility. OBJECTIVE: To utilize automated image analysis methods to localize the specific regions of abnormal white matter that distinguish subjects with lower mobility from subjects with higher mobility. METHODS: Tissue classification was performed on subjects' dual-echo long repetition time spin-echo MRI using computer algorithms operating on intensity criteria integrated with anatomic information. Statistical analysis of group differences was obtained after spatially normalizing each brain to a standard reference brain. RESULTS: Four discrete periventricular regions, including bilaterally symmetric frontal and bilateral occipitoparietal regions, were identified as being sensitive (frontal) or specific (occipitoparietal) in discriminating the subjects with lower mobility from subjects with higher mobility. The symmetry of these lesions in individual subjects suggested pathology other than arteriolar infarction. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that damage to discrete frontal and occipitoparietal periventricular white matter locations may be associated with a mobility disorder of aging.
In this report we evaluate an image registration technique that can improve the information content of intraoperative image data by deformable matching of preoperative images. In this study, pretreatment 1.5 tesla (T) magnetic resonance (MR) images of the prostate are registered with 0.5 T intraoperative images. The method involves rigid and nonrigid registration using biomechanical finite element modeling. Preoperative 1.5 T MR imaging is conducted with the patient supine, using an endorectal coil, while intraoperatively, the patient is in the lithotomy position with a rectal obturator in place. We have previously observed that these changes in patient position and rectal filling produce a shape change in the prostate. The registration of 1.5 T preoperative images depicting the prostate substructure [namely central gland (CG) and peripheral zone (PZ)] to 0.5 T intraoperative MR images using this method can facilitate the segmentation of the substructure of the gland for radiation treatment planning. After creating and validating a dataset of manually segmented glands from images obtained in ten sequential MR-guided brachytherapy cases, we conducted a set of experiments to assess our hypothesis that the proposed registration system can significantly improve the quality of matching of the total gland (TG), CG, and PZ. The results showed that the method statistically-significantly improves the quality of match (compared to rigid registration), raising the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) from prematched coefficients of 0.81, 0.78, and 0.59 for TG, CG, and PZ, respectively, to 0.94, 0.86, and 0.76. A point-based measure of registration agreement was also improved by the deformable registration. CG and PZ volumes are not changed by the registration, indicating that the method maintains the biomechanical topology of the prostate. Although this strategy was tested for MRI-guided brachytherapy, the preliminary results from these experiments suggest that it may be applied to other settings such as transrectal ultrasound-guided therapy, where the integration of preoperative MRI may have a significant impact upon treatment planning and guidance.
We present a new algorithm for the nonrigid registration of three-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) intraoperative image sequences showing brain shift. The algorithm tracks key surfaces of objects (cortical surface and the lateral ventricles) in the image sequence using a deformable surface matching algorithm. The volumetric deformation field of the objects is then inferred from the displacements at the boundary surfaces using a linear elastic biomechanical finite-element model. Two experiments on synthetic image sequences are presented, as well as an initial experiment on intraoperative MR images showing brain shift. The results of the registration algorithm show a good correlation of the internal brain structures after deformation, and a good capability of measuring surface as well as subsurface shift. We measured distances between landmarks in the deformed initial image and the corresponding landmarks in the target scan. Cortical surface shifts of up to 10 mm and subsurface shifts of up to 6 mm were recovered with an accuracy of 1 mm or less and 3 mm or less respectively.
INTRODUCTION AND METHODS: Compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are characterized by enormous variability, even when attempts are made to stimulate the same scalp location. This report describes the results of a comparison of the spatial errors in coil placement and resulting CMAP characteristics using a guided and blind TMS stimulation technique. The former uses a coregistration system, which displays the intersection of the peak TMS induced electric field with the cortical surface. The latter consists of the conventional placement of the TMS coil on the optimal scalp position for activation of the first dorsal interossei (FDI) muscle. RESULTS: Guided stimulation resulted in significantly improved spatial precision for exciting the corticospinal projection to the FDI compared to blind stimulation. This improved precision of coil placement was associated with a significantly increased probability of eliciting FDI responses. Although these responses tended to have larger amplitudes and areas, the coefficient of variation between guided and blind stimulation induced CMAPs did not significantly differ. CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate that guided stimulation improves the ability to precisely revisit previously stimulated cortical loci as well as increasing the probability of eliciting TMS induced CMAPs. Response variability, however, is due to factors other than coil placement.
The vasculature is of utmost importance in neurosurgery. Direct visualization of images acquired with current imaging modalities, however, cannot provide a spatial representation of small vessels. These vessels, and their branches which show considerable variations, are most important in planning and performing neurosurgical procedures. In planning they provide information on where the lesion draws its blood supply and where it drains. During surgery the vessels serve as landmarks and guidelines to the lesion. The more minute the information is, the more precise the navigation and localization of computer guided procedures. Beyond neurosurgery and neurological study, vascular information is also crucial in cardiovascular surgery, diagnosis, and research. This paper addresses the problem of automatic segmentation of complicated curvilinear structures in three-dimensional imagery, with the primary application of segmenting vasculature in magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) images. The method presented is based on recent curve and surface evolution work in the computer vision community which models the object boundary as a manifold that evolves iteratively to minimize an energy criterion. This energy criterion is based both on intensity values in the image and on local smoothness properties of the object boundary, which is the vessel wall in this application. In particular, the method handles curves evolving in 3D, in contrast with previous work that has dealt with curves in 2D and surfaces in 3D. Results are presented on cerebral and aortic MRA data as well as lung computed tomography (CT) data.
This paper describes a unified approach to the detection of point landmarks-whose neighborhoods convey discriminant information-including multidimensional scalar, vector, and higher-order tensor data. The method is based on the interpretation of generalized correlation matrices derived from the gradient of tensor functions, a probabilistic interpretation of point landmarks, and the application of tensor algebra. Results on both synthetic and real tensor data are presented.
Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging--guided prostate biopsy in a 0.5-T open imager is described, validated in phantom studies, and performed in two patients. The needles are guided by using fast gradient-recalled echo and T2-weighted fast spin-echo images. Surgical navigation software provided T2-weighted images critical to targeting the peripheral zone and the tumor. MR imaging can be used to guide prostate biopsy.
In order to enhance 3D image data from magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), a novel method based on the theory of multidimensional adaptive filtering has been developed. The purpose of the technique is to suppress image noise while enhancing important structures. The method is based on local structure estimation using six 3D orientation selective filters, followed by an adaptive filtering step controlled by the local structure information. The complete filtering procedure requires approximately 3 minutes of computational time on a standard workstation for a 256 x 256 x 64 data set. The method has been evaluated using a mathematical vessel model and in vivo MRA data (both phase contrast and time of flight (TOF)). 3D adaptive filtering results in a better delineation of small blood vessels and efficiently reduces the high-frequency noise. Depending on the data acquisition and the original data type, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) improvements of up to 179% (8.9 dB) were observed. 3D adaptive filtering may provide an alternative to prolonging the scan time or using contrast agents in MRA when the CNR is low.
A surgical guidance and visualization system is presented, which uniquely integrates capabilities for data analysis and on-line interventional guidance into the setting of interventional MRI. Various pre-operative scans (T1- and T2-weighted MRI, MR angiography, and functional MRI (fMRI)) are fused and automatically aligned with the operating field of the interventional MR system. Both pre-surgical and intra-operative data may be segmented to generate three-dimensional surface models of key anatomical and functional structures. Models are combined in a three-dimensional scene along with reformatted slices that are driven by a tracked surgical device. Thus, pre-operative data augments interventional imaging to expedite tissue characterization and precise localization and targeting. As the surgery progresses, and anatomical changes subsequently reduce the relevance of pre-operative data, interventional data is refreshed for software navigation in true real time. The system has been applied in 45 neurosurgical cases and found to have beneficial utility for planning and guidance. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2001;13:967-975.
OBJECTIVE: A major shortcoming of image-guided navigational systems is the use of preoperatively acquired image data, which does not account for intraoperative changes in brain morphology. The occurrence of these surgically induced volumetric deformations ("brain shift") has been well established. Maximal measurements for surface and midline shifts have been reported. There has been no detailed analysis, however, of the changes that occur during surgery. The use of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging provides a unique opportunity to obtain serial image data and characterize the time course of brain deformations during surgery. METHODS: The vertically open intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging system (SignaSP, 0.5 T; GE Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) permits access to the surgical field and allows multiple intraoperative image updates without the need to move the patient. We developed volumetric display software (the 3D Slicer) that allows quantitative analysis of the degree and direction of brain shift. For 25 patients, four or more intraoperative volumetric image acquisitions were extensively evaluated. RESULTS: Serial acquisitions allow comprehensive sequential descriptions of the direction and magnitude of intraoperative deformations. Brain shift occurs at various surgical stages and in different regions. Surface shift occurs throughout surgery and is mainly attributable to gravity. Subsurface shift occurs during resection and involves collapse of the resection cavity and intraparenchymal changes that are difficult to model. CONCLUSION: Brain shift is a continuous dynamic process that evolves differently in distinct brain regions. Therefore, only serial imaging or continuous data acquisition can provide consistently accurate image guidance. Furthermore, only serial intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging provides an accurate basis for the computational analysis of brain deformations, which might lead to an understanding and eventual simulation of brain shift for intraoperative guidance.
Orientation and shape of the acetabulum were determined by the use of three-dimensional reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) data sets in 22 patients with a total of 30 slipped capital femoral epiphyses. We developed an interactive three-dimensional software program to measure the anteversion and inclination of the acetabulum without projectional and pelvis-tilting errors. Furthermore, we determined the height, width, depth, volume, and surface of the acetabulum as parameters describing the acetabular shape. Comparison of the affected side with the contralateral unaffected hip showed no significant differences for acetabular orientation and shape. The relationship between the degree of the slip and the acetabular orientation was calculated. No correlation was found. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that the slipping of the capital femoral epiphysis has no influence on acetabular development.
A three-dimensional (3D) analysis based on computed tomography was performed to study the 3D geometry of the proximal femur in cases of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). For this purpose, new interactive software was developed to analyze hip joint geometry using 3D models without pelvis tilting and projected errors. Twenty-two patients, 8 girls and 14 boys, with a total of 30 slipped capital femoral epiphyses, were reviewed. In the affected hips, we observed a reduced femoral anteversion of 7.0 degrees (vs. 12.7 degrees) and a reduced femoral shaft neck angle of 134.2 degrees (vs. 141.0 degrees). In response to these results, we suggest that an SCFE is associated with reduced femoral anteversion and a reduced femoral shaft neck angle.
An automated brain tumor segmentation method was developed and validated against manual segmentation with three-dimensional magnetic resonance images in 20 patients with meningiomas and low-grade gliomas. The automated method (operator time, 5-10 minutes) allowed rapid identification of brain and tumor tissue with an accuracy and reproducibility comparable to those of manual segmentation (operator time, 3-5 hours), making automated segmentation practical for low-grade gliomas and meningiomas.
Interventional MRI (IMRI) has entered into a new stage in which computer-based techniques play an increasing role in planning, monitoring, and controlling the procedures. The use of interactive imaging, navigational image guidance techniques, and image processing methods is demonstrated in various applications. The integration of intraoperative MRI guidance and computer-assisted surgery will greatly accelerate the clinical utility of image-guided therapy in general and interventional MRI in particular. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2001;13:69-77.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging regional lesion burden and cognitive performance in multiple sclerosis (MS) over a 4-year follow-up period. DESIGN: Twenty-eight patients with MS underwent magnetic resonance imaging and took the Brief, Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests in Multiple Sclerosis at baseline, 1-year, and 4-year follow-up. An automated 3-dimensional lesion detection method was used to identify MS lesions within anatomical regions on proton density T2-weighted images. The relationship between magnetic resonance imaging regional lesion volumes and the Brief, Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests in Multiple Sclerosis results was examined using regression analyses. RESULTS: At all time points, frontal lesion volume represented the greatest proportion of total lesion volume, and the percentage of white matter classified as lesion was also highest in frontal and parietal regions. On neuropsychological testing, when compared with age- and educational level-matched control subjects, patients with MS showed significant impairment on tests of sustained attention, processing speed, and verbal memory (P<.001). Performance on these measures was negatively correlated with MS lesion volume in frontal and parietal regions at baseline, 1-year, and 4-year follow-up (R = -0.55 to -0.73, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Multiple sclerosis lesions show a propensity for frontal and parietal white matter. Lesion burden in these areas was strongly associated with performance on tasks requiring sustained complex attention and working verbal memory. This relationship was consistent over a 4-year period, suggesting that disruption of frontoparietal subcortical networks may underlie the pattern of neuropsychological impairment seen in many patients with MS.
Intraoperative line scan diffusion imaging (LSDI) on a 0.5 Tesla interventional MRI was performed during neurosurgery in three patients. Diffusion trace images were obtained in acute ischemic cases. Scan time per slice was 46 seconds and 94 seconds, respectively, for diffusion tensor images. Diagnosis of acutely developed vascular occlusion was confirmed with follow-up scans. White matter tracts were displayed with the principal eigenvectors and provided guidance for the tumor surgery. In all cases, the diagnostic utility of LSDI was established. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2001;13:115-119.
Functional measures have consistently shown prefrontal abnormalities in schizophrenia. However, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of prefrontal volume reduction have been less consistent. In this study, we evaluated prefrontal gray matter volume in first episode (first hospitalized) patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, compared with first episode patients diagnosed with affective psychosis and normal comparison subjects, to determine the presence in and specificity of prefrontal abnormalities to schizophrenia. Prefrontal gray and white matter volumes were measured from first episode patients with schizophrenia (n = 17), and from gender and parental socio-economic status-matched subjects with affective (mainly manic) psychosis (n = 17) and normal comparison subjects (n = 17), age-matched within a narrow age range (18--29 years). Total (left and right) prefrontal gray matter volume was significantly reduced in first episode schizophrenia compared with first episode affective psychosis and comparison subjects. Follow-up analyses indicated significant left prefrontal gray matter volume reduction and trend level reduction on the right. Schizophrenia patients showed 9.2% reduction on the left and 7.7% reduction on the right compared with comparison subjects. White matter volumes did not differ among groups. These data suggest that prefrontal cortical gray matter volume reduction is selectively present at first hospitalization in schizophrenia but not affective psychosis.
BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging studies in schizophrenia have revealed abnormalities in temporal lobe structures, including the superior temporal gyrus. More specifically, abnormalities have been reported in the posterior superior temporal gyrus, which includes the Heschl gyrus and planum temporale, the latter being an important substrate for language. However, the specificity of the Heschl gyrus and planum temporale structural abnormalities to schizophrenia vs affective psychosis, and the possible confounding roles of chronic morbidity and neuroleptic treatment, remain unclear. METHODS: Magnetic resonance images were acquired using a 1.5-T magnet from 20 first-episode (at first hospitalization) patients with schizophrenia (mean age, 27.3 years), 24 first-episode patients with manic psychosis (mean age, 23.6 years), and 22 controls (mean age, 24.5 years). There was no significant difference in age for the 3 groups. All brain images were uniformly aligned and then reformatted and resampled to yield isotropic voxels. RESULTS: Gray matter volume of the left planum temporale differed among the 3 groups. The patients with schizophrenia had significantly smaller left planum temporale volume than controls (20.0%) and patients with mania (20.0%). Heschl gyrus gray matter volume (left and right) was also reduced in patients with schizophrenia compared with controls (13.1%) and patients with bipolar mania (16.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with controls and patients with bipolar manic psychosis, patients with first-episode schizophrenia showed left planum temporale gray matter volume reduction and bilateral Heschl gyrus gray matter volume reduction. These findings are similar to those reported in patients with chronic schizophrenia and suggest that such abnormalities are present at first episode and are specific to schizophrenia.
We investigated brain wiring in chronic schizophrenia and healthy controls in frontostriatal circuits using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography in a novel way. We extracted diffusion streamlines in 27 chronic schizophrenia and 26 healthy controls connecting 4 frontal subregions to the striatum. We labeled the projection zone striatal surface voxels into 2 subtypes: dominant-input from a single cortical subregion, and, functionally integrative, with mixed-input from diverse cortical subregions. We showed: 1) a group difference for total striatal surface voxel number (P = .045) driven by fewer mixed-input voxels in the left (P = .007), but not right, hemisphere; 2) a group by hemisphere interaction for the ratio quotient between voxel subtypes (P = .04) with a left (P = .006), but not right, hemisphere increase in schizophrenia, also reflecting fewer mixed-input voxels; and 3) fewer mixed-input voxel counts in schizophrenia (P = .045) driven by differences in left hemisphere limbic (P = .007) and associative (P = .01), but not sensorimotor, striatum. These results demonstrate a less integrative pattern of frontostriatal structural connectivity in chronic schizophrenia. A diminished integrative pattern yields a less complex input pattern to the striatum from the cortex with less circuit integration at the level of the striatum. Further, as brain wiring occurs during early development, aberrant brain wiring could serve as a developmental biomarker for schizophrenia.
PURPOSE: We present SlicerDMRI, an open-source software suite that enables research using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI), the only modality that can map the white matter connections of the living human brain. SlicerDMRI enables analysis and visualization of dMRI data and is aimed at the needs of clinical research users. SlicerDMRI is built upon and deeply integrated with 3D Slicer, a National Institutes of Health-supported open-source platform for medical image informatics, image processing, and three-dimensional visualization. Integration with 3D Slicer provides many features of interest to cancer researchers, such as real-time integration with neuronavigation equipment, intraoperative imaging modalities, and multimodal data fusion. One key application of SlicerDMRI is in neurosurgery research, where brain mapping using dMRI can provide patient-specific maps of critical brain connections as well as insight into the tissue microstructure that surrounds brain tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this article, we focus on a demonstration of SlicerDMRI as an informatics tool to enable end-to-end dMRI analyses in two retrospective imaging data sets from patients with high-grade glioma. Analyses demonstrated here include conventional diffusion tensor analysis, advanced multifiber tractography, automated identification of critical fiber tracts, and integration of multimodal imagery with dMRI. RESULTS: We illustrate the ability of SlicerDMRI to perform both conventional and advanced dMRI analyses as well as to enable multimodal image analysis and visualization. We provide an overview of the clinical rationale for each analysis along with pointers to the SlicerDMRI tools used in each. CONCLUSION: SlicerDMRI provides open-source and clinician-accessible research software tools for dMRI analysis. SlicerDMRI is available for easy automated installation through the 3D Slicer Extension Manager.
Joint relaxation-diffusion measurements can provide new insight about the tissue microstructural properties. Most recent methods have focused on inverting the Laplace transform to recover the joint distribution of relaxation-diffusion. However, as is well-known, this problem is notoriously ill-posed and numerically unstable. In this work, we address this issue by directly computing the joint moments of transverse relaxation rate and diffusivity, which can be robustly estimated. To zoom into different parts of the joint distribution, we further enhance our method by applying multiplicative filters to the joint probability density function of relaxation and diffusion and compute the corresponding moments. We propose an approach to use these moments to compute several novel scalar indices to characterize specific properties of the underlying tissue microstructure. Furthermore, for the first time, we propose an algorithm to estimate diffusion signals that are independent of echo time based on the moments of the marginal probability density function of diffusion. We demonstrate its utility in extracting tissue information not contaminated with multiple intra-voxel relaxation rates. We compare the performance of four types of filters that zoom into tissue components with different relaxation and diffusion properties and demonstrate it on an in-vivo human dataset. Experimental results show that these filters are able to characterize heterogeneous tissue microstructure. Moreover, the filtered diffusion signals are also able to distinguish fiber bundles with similar orientations but different relaxation rates. The proposed method thus allows to characterize the neural microstructure information in a robust and unique manner not possible using existing techniques.
PURPOSE: To optimize diffusion-relaxation MRI with tensor-valued diffusion encoding for precise estimation of compartment-specific fractions, diffusivities, and T values within a two-compartment model of white matter, and to explore the approach in vivo. METHODS: Sampling protocols featuring different b-values (b), b-tensor shapes (b ), and echo times (TE) were optimized using Cramér-Rao lower bounds (CRLB). Whole-brain data were acquired in children, adults, and elderly with white matter lesions. Compartment fractions, diffusivities, and T values were estimated in a model featuring two microstructural compartments represented by a "stick" and a "zeppelin." RESULTS: Precise parameter estimates were enabled by sampling protocols featuring seven or more "shells" with unique b/b /TE-combinations. Acquisition times were approximately 15 minutes. In white matter of adults, the "stick" compartment had a fraction of approximately 0.5 and, compared with the "zeppelin" compartment, featured lower isotropic diffusivities (0.6 vs. 1.3 μm /ms) but higher T values (85 vs. 65 ms). Children featured lower "stick" fractions (0.4). White matter lesions exhibited high "zeppelin" isotropic diffusivities (1.7 μm /ms) and T values (150 ms). CONCLUSIONS: Diffusion-relaxation MRI with tensor-valued diffusion encoding expands the set of microstructure parameters that can be precisely estimated and therefore increases their specificity to biological quantities.
OBJECTIVE: Accurate biopsy sampling of the suspected lesions is critical for the diagnosis and clinical management of prostate cancer. Transperineal in-bore MRI-guided prostate biopsy (tpMRgBx) is a targeted biopsy technique that was shown to be safe, efficient, and accurate. Our goal was to develop an open source software platform to support evaluation, refinement, and translation of this biopsy approach. METHODS: We developed SliceTracker, a 3D Slicer extension to support tpMRgBx. We followed modular design of the implementation to enable customization of the interface and interchange of image segmentation and registration components to assess their effect on the processing time, precision, and accuracy of the biopsy needle placement. The platform and supporting documentation were developed to enable the use of software by an operator with minimal technical training to facilitate translation. Retrospective evaluation studied registration accuracy, effect of the prostate segmentation approach, and re-identification time of biopsy targets. Prospective evaluation focused on the total procedure time and biopsy targeting error (BTE). RESULTS: Evaluation utilized data from 73 retrospective and ten prospective tpMRgBx cases. Mean landmark registration error for retrospective evaluation was 1.88 ± 2.63 mm, and was not sensitive to the approach used for prostate gland segmentation. Prospectively, we observed target re-identification time of 4.60 ± 2.40 min and BTE of 2.40 ± 0.98 mm. CONCLUSION: SliceTracker is modular and extensible open source platform for supporting image processing aspects of the tpMRgBx procedure. It has been successfully utilized to support clinical research procedures at our site.