Automatic analysis of cerebral atrophy

G Subsol, N Roberts, M Doran, JP Thirion, GH Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

3D MR data obtained for 10 healthy control subjects have been used to build a brain atlas, The atlas is built in four stages, First, a set of features that are unambiguously definable and anatomically relevant need to be computed for each item in the database, The chosen features are crest lines along which the maximal principal curvature of the surface of the brain is maximal in its associated principal direction, Second, a nonrigid registration algorithm is used to determine the common crest lines among the subjects in the database, These crest lines form the structure of the atlas. Third, a set of crest lines is taken as a reference set and a modal analysis is performed to determine the fundamental deformations that are necessary to bring the individual data in line with the reference set, The deformations are averaged and the set of mean crest lines becomes the atlas, Finally, the standard deviation of the deformations between the atlas and the items in the database defines the normal variation in the relative positions of the crest lines in a healthy population, In a fully automatic procedure, the crest lines on the surface of the brain adjacent to the cerebral ventricles in a patient with primary progressive aphasia were compared to the atlas; confirmation that the brain of this patient demonstrates atrophy was provided by stereological analysis that showed that the volume of the left cerebral hemisphere is 48.8 ml (CE 2.8%) less than the volume of the right cerebral hemisphere in the region of the temporal and frontal lobes, When the amplitude of the deformations necessary to register the crest lines obtained for the patient with the atlas were greater than three standard deviations beyond the variability inherent in the atlas, the deformation was considered significant, Four of the five main deformation modes of the longest crest line of the surface of the brain adjacent to the cerebral ventricles were significantly different in the patient with primary progressive aphasia compared to the atlas, The ventricles are preferentially enlarged in the left cerebral hemisphere, Furthermore, they are closer together posteriorly and further apart anteriorly than in the atlas, These observations may be indicative of the atrophy of the temporal and frontal lobes of the left cerebral hemisphere noted in the patient, Ultimately, the approach may provide a useful screening technique for identifying brain diseases involving cerebral atrophy, Serial studies of individual patients may provide insights into the processes controlling or affected by particular diseases. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-927
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • atlas
  • atrophy
  • brain
  • cerebral ventricles
  • crest lines
  • image analysis
  • MRI
  • stereology
  • SIZE


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