Publications

2015
Ion-Florin Talos, Marianna Jakab, and Ron Kikinis. 9/2015. CT-based Atlas of the Abdomen. Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. 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.
Marianna Jakab and Ron Kikinis. 9/2015. 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.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.
Jens Richolt, Marianna Jakab, and Ron Kikinis. 9/2015. MRI-based Atlas of the Knee. Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. 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.
Lipeng Ning, Kawin Setsompop, Oleg Michailovich, Nikos Makris, Carl-Fredrik Westin, and Yogesh Rathi. 6/2015. “A Compressed-Sensing Approach for Super-Resolution Reconstruction of Diffusion MRI.” Inf Process Med Imaging, 24, Pp. 57-68.Abstract

We present an innovative framework for reconstructing high-spatial-resolution diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) from multiple low-resolution (LR) images. Our approach combines the twin concepts of compressed sensing (CS) and classical super-resolution to reduce acquisition time while increasing spatial resolution. We use subpixel-shifted LR images with down-sampled and non-overlapping diffusion directions to reduce acquisition time. The diffusion signal in the high resolution (HR) image is represented in a sparsifying basis of spherical ridgelets to model complex fiber orientations with reduced number of measurements. The HR image is obtained as the solution of a convex optimization problem which can be solved using the proposed algorithm based on the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM). We qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the performance of our method on two sets of in-vivo human brain data and show its effectiveness in accurately recovering very high resolution diffusion images.

Matthew Toews, Christian Wachinger, Raul San Jose Estepar, and William M Wells III. 6/2015. “A Feature-Based Approach to Big Data Analysis of Medical Images.” Inf Process Med Imaging, 24, Pp. 339-50.Abstract

This paper proposes an inference method well-suited to large sets of medical images. The method is based upon a framework where distinctive 3D scale-invariant features are indexed efficiently to identify approximate nearest-neighbor (NN) feature matches-in O (log N) computational complexity in the number of images N. It thus scales well to large data sets, in contrast to methods based on pair-wise image registration or feature matching requiring O(N) complexity. Our theoretical contribution is a density estimator based on a generative model that generalizes kernel density estimation and K-nearest neighbor (KNN) methods.. The estimator can be used for on-the-fly queries, without requiring explicit parametric models or an off-line training phase. The method is validated on a large multi-site data set of 95,000,000 features extracted from 19,000 lung CT scans. Subject-level classification identifies all images of the same subjects across the entire data set despite deformation due to breathing state, including unintentional duplicate scans. State-of-the-art performance is achieved in predicting chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD) severity across the 5-category GOLD clinical rating, with an accuracy of 89% if both exact and one-off predictions are considered correct.

Christian Wachinger, Matthew Toews, Georg Langs, William M Wells III, and Polina Golland. 6/2015. “Keypoint Transfer Segmentation.” Inf Process Med Imaging, 24, Pp. 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.

Siqi Liu, Sidong Liu, Weidong Cai, Sonia Pujol, Ron Kikinis, and David Dagan Feng. 2/2015. “Multi-Phase Feature Representation Learning for Neurodegenerative Disease Diagnosis.” Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence LNAI 8955, Pp. 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
Clare B Poynton, Mark Jenkinson, Elfar Adalsteinsson, Edith V Sullivan, Adolf Pfefferbaum, and William M Wells III. 1/2015. “Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping by Inversion of a Perturbation Field Model: Correlation with Brain Iron in Normal Aging.” IEEE Trans Med Imaging, 34, 1, Pp. 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.

Julie M Stamm, Inga K Koerte, Marc Muehlmann, Ofer Pasternak, Alexandra P Bourlas, Christine M Baugh, Michelle Y Giwerc, Anni Zhu, Michael J Coleman, Sylvain Bouix, Nathan G Fritts, Brett M Martin, Christine Chaisson, Michael D McClean, Alexander P Lin, Robert C Cantu, Yorghos Tripodis, Robert A Stern, and Martha E Shenton. 2015. “Age at First Exposure to Football Is Associated with Altered Corpus Callosum White Matter Microstructure in Former Professional Football Players.” J Neurotrauma, 32, 22, Pp. 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.
Alireza Radmanesh, Amir A Zamani, Stephen Whalen, Yanmei Tie, Ralph O Suarez, and Alexandra J Golby. 2015. “Comparison of seeding methods for visualization of the corticospinal tracts using single tensor tractography.” Clin Neurol Neurosurg, 129, Pp. 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.
Lauren J O'Donnell and Ofer Pasternak. 2015. “Does diffusion MRI tell us anything about the white matter? An overview of methods and pitfalls.” Schizophr Res, 161, 1, Pp. 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.
Romeil Sandhu, Tryphon Georgiou, Ed Reznik, Liangjia Zhu, Ivan Kolesov, Yasin Senbabaoglu, and Allen Tannenbaum. 2015. “Graph Curvature for Differentiating Cancer Networks.” Sci Rep, 5, Pp. 12323.Abstract
Cellular interactions can be modeled as complex dynamical systems represented by weighted graphs. The functionality of such networks, including measures of robustness, reliability, performance, and efficiency, are intrinsically tied to the topology and geometry of the underlying graph. Utilizing recently proposed geometric notions of curvature on weighted graphs, we investigate the features of gene co-expression networks derived from large-scale genomic studies of cancer. We find that the curvature of these networks reliably distinguishes between cancer and normal samples, with cancer networks exhibiting higher curvature than their normal counterparts. We establish a quantitative relationship between our findings and prior investigations of network entropy. Furthermore, we demonstrate how our approach yields additional, non-trivial pair-wise (i.e. gene-gene) interactions which may be disrupted in cancer samples. The mathematical formulation of our approach yields an exact solution to calculating pair-wise changes in curvature which was computationally infeasible using prior methods. As such, our findings lay the foundation for an analytical approach to studying complex biological networks.
Thomas Vaughan, Andras Lasso, Tamas Ungi, and Gabor Fichtinger. 2015. “Hole filling with oriented sticks in ultrasound volume reconstruction.” J Med Imaging (Bellingham), 2, 3, Pp. 034002.Abstract
Volumes reconstructed from tracked planar ultrasound images often contain regions where no information was recorded. Existing interpolation methods introduce image artifacts and tend to be slow in filling large missing regions. Our goal was to develop a computationally efficient method that fills missing regions while adequately preserving image features. We use directional sticks to interpolate between pairs of known opposing voxels in nearby images. We tested our method on 30 volumetric ultrasound scans acquired from human subjects, and compared its performance to that of other published hole-filling methods. Reconstruction accuracy, fidelity, and time were improved compared with other methods.
Liangjia Zhu, Ivan Kolesov, Peter Karasev, and Allen Tannenbaum. 2015. “Interactive Image Segmentation Framework Based On Control Theory.” Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng, 9413.Abstract
Segmentation of anatomical structures in medical imagery is a key step in a variety of clinical applications. Designing a generic, automated method that works for various structures and imaging modalities is a daunting task. Instead of proposing a new specific segmentation algorithm, in this paper, we present a general design principle on how to integrate user interactions from the perspective of control theory. In this formulation, Lyapunov stability analysis is employed to design and analyze an interactive segmentation system. The effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method are demonstrated.
Siqi Liu, Sidong Liu, Weidong Cai, Hangyu Che, Sonia Pujol, Ron Kikinis, Dagan Feng, and Michael J Fulham. 2015. “Multimodal neuroimaging feature learning for multiclass diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.” IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, 62, 4, Pp. 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.
Vadim Ratner, Liangjia Zhu, Ivan Kolesov, Maiken Nedergaard, Helene Benveniste, and Allen Tannenbaum. 2015. “Optimal-mass-transfer-based estimation of glymphatic transport in living brain.” Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng, 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.
Mao Li, Karol Miller, Grand Roman Joldes, Barry Doyle, Revanth Reddy Garlapati, Ron Kikinis, and Adam Wittek. 2015. “Patient-specific biomechanical model as whole-body CT image registration tool.” Med Image Anal, 22, 1, Pp. 22-34.Abstract
Whole-body computed tomography (CT) image registration is important for cancer diagnosis, therapy planning and treatment. Such registration requires accounting for large differences between source and target images caused by deformations of soft organs/tissues and articulated motion of skeletal structures. The registration algorithms relying solely on image processing methods exhibit deficiencies in accounting for such deformations and motion. We propose to predict the deformations and movements of body organs/tissues and skeletal structures for whole-body CT image registration using patient-specific non-linear biomechanical modelling. Unlike the conventional biomechanical modelling, our approach for building the biomechanical models does not require time-consuming segmentation of CT scans to divide the whole body into non-overlapping constituents with different material properties. Instead, a Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) algorithm is used for tissue classification to assign the constitutive properties automatically at integration points of the computation grid. We use only very simple segmentation of the spine when determining vertebrae displacements to define loading for biomechanical models. We demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of our approach on CT images of seven patients suffering from cancer and aortic disease. The results confirm that accurate whole-body CT image registration can be achieved using a patient-specific non-linear biomechanical model constructed without time-consuming segmentation of the whole-body images.
Zhenrui Chen, Yanmei Tie, Olutayo Olubiyi, Laura Rigolo, Alireza Mehrtash, Isaiah Norton, Ofer Pasternak, Yogesh Rathi, Alexandra J Golby, and Lauren J O'Donnell. 2015. “Reconstruction of the arcuate fasciculus for surgical planning in the setting of peritumoral edema using two-tensor unscented Kalman filter tractography.” Neuroimage Clin, 7, Pp. 815-22.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Diffusion imaging tractography is increasingly used to trace critical fiber tracts in brain tumor patients to reduce the risk of post-operative neurological deficit. However, the effects of peritumoral edema pose a challenge to conventional tractography using the standard diffusion tensor model. The aim of this study was to present a novel technique using a two-tensor unscented Kalman filter (UKF) algorithm to track the arcuate fasciculus (AF) in brain tumor patients with peritumoral edema. METHODS: Ten right-handed patients with left-sided brain tumors in the vicinity of language-related cortex and evidence of significant peritumoral edema were retrospectively selected for the study. All patients underwent 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including a diffusion-weighted dataset with 31 directions. Fiber tractography was performed using both single-tensor streamline and two-tensor UKF tractography. A two-regions-of-interest approach was applied to perform the delineation of the AF. Results from the two different tractography algorithms were compared visually and quantitatively. RESULTS: Using single-tensor streamline tractography, the AF appeared disrupted in four patients and contained few fibers in the remaining six patients. Two-tensor UKF tractography delineated an AF that traversed edematous brain areas in all patients. The volume of the AF was significantly larger on two-tensor UKF than on single-tensor streamline tractography (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Two-tensor UKF tractography provides the ability to trace a larger volume AF than single-tensor streamline tractography in the setting of peritumoral edema in brain tumor patients.
Lipeng Ning, Frederik Laun, Yaniv Gur, Edward VR DiBella, Samuel Deslauriers-Gauthier, Thinhinane Megherbi, Aurobrata Ghosh, Mauro Zucchelli, Gloria Menegaz, Rutger Fick, Samuel St-Jean, Michael Paquette, Ramon Aranda, Maxime Descoteaux, Rachid Deriche, Lauren O'Donnell, and Yogesh Rathi. 2015. “Sparse Reconstruction Challenge for diffusion MRI: Validation on a physical phantom to determine which acquisition scheme and analysis method to use?” Med Image Anal, 26, 1, Pp. 316-31.Abstract
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is the modality of choice for investigating in-vivo white matter connectivity and neural tissue architecture of the brain. The diffusion-weighted signal in dMRI reflects the diffusivity of water molecules in brain tissue and can be utilized to produce image-based biomarkers for clinical research. Due to the constraints on scanning time, a limited number of measurements can be acquired within a clinically feasible scan time. In order to reconstruct the dMRI signal from a discrete set of measurements, a large number of algorithms have been proposed in recent years in conjunction with varying sampling schemes, i.e., with varying b-values and gradient directions. Thus, it is imperative to compare the performance of these reconstruction methods on a single data set to provide appropriate guidelines to neuroscientists on making an informed decision while designing their acquisition protocols. For this purpose, the SPArse Reconstruction Challenge (SPARC) was held along with the workshop on Computational Diffusion MRI (at MICCAI 2014) to validate the performance of multiple reconstruction methods using data acquired from a physical phantom. A total of 16 reconstruction algorithms (9 teams) participated in this community challenge. The goal was to reconstruct single b-value and/or multiple b-value data from a sparse set of measurements. In particular, the aim was to determine an appropriate acquisition protocol (in terms of the number of measurements, b-values) and the analysis method to use for a neuroimaging study. The challenge did not delve on the accuracy of these methods in estimating model specific measures such as fractional anisotropy (FA) or mean diffusivity, but on the accuracy of these methods to fit the data. This paper presents several quantitative results pertaining to each reconstruction algorithm. The conclusions in this paper provide a valuable guideline for choosing a suitable algorithm and the corresponding data-sampling scheme for clinical neuroscience applications.
Revanth Reddy Garlapati, Ahmed Mostayed, Grand Roman Joldes, Adam Wittek, Barry Doyle, and Karol Miller. 2015. “Towards measuring neuroimage misalignment.” Comput Biol Med, 64, Pp. 12-23.Abstract
To enhance neuro-navigation, high quality pre-operative images must be registered onto intra-operative configuration of the brain. Therefore evaluation of the degree to which structures may remain misaligned after registration is critically important. We consider two Hausdorff Distance (HD)-based evaluation approaches: the edge-based HD (EBHD) metric and the Robust HD (RHD) metric as well as various commonly used intensity-based similarity metrics such as Mutual Information (MI), Normalised Mutual Information (NMI), Entropy Correlation Coefficient (ECC), Kullback-Leibler Distance (KLD) and Correlation Ratio (CR). We conducted the evaluation by applying known deformations to simple sample images and real cases of brain shift. We conclude that the intensity-based similarity metrics such as MI, NMI, ECC, KLD and CR do not correlate well with actual alignment errors, and hence are not useful for assessing misalignment. On the contrary, the EBHD and the RHD metrics correlated well with actual alignment errors; however, they have been found to underestimate the actual misalignment. We also note that it is beneficial to present HD results as a percentile-HD curve rather than a single number such as the 95-percentile HD. Percentile-HD curves present the full range of alignment errors and also facilitate the comparison of results obtained using different approaches. Furthermore, the qualities that should be possessed by an ideal evaluation metric were highlighted. Future studies could focus on developing such an evaluation metric.

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