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New multispectral MRI data fusion technique for white matter lesion segmentation: method and comparison with thresholding in FLAIR images

Author(s): M. D. V. Hernandez, K. J. Ferguson, F. M. Chappell, J. M. Wardlaw

Brain tissue segmentation by conventional threshold-based techniques may have limited accuracy and repeatability in older subjects. We present a new multispectral magnetic resonance (MR) image analysis approach for segmenting normal and abnormal brain tissue, including white matter lesions (WMLs). We modulated two 1.5T MR sequences in the red/green colour space and calculated the tissue volumes using minimum variance quantisation. We tested it on 14 subjects, mean age 73.3 +/- 10 years, representing the full range of WMLs and atrophy. We compared the results of WML segmentation with those using FLAIR-derived thresholds, examined the effect of sampling location, WML amount and field inhomogeneities, and tested observer reliability and accuracy. FLAIR-derived thresholds were significantly affected by the location used to derive the threshold (P = 0.0004) and by WML volume (P = 0.0003), and had higher intra-rater variability than the multispectral technique (mean difference +/- SD: 759 +/- 733 versus 69 +/- 326 voxels respectively). The multispectral technique misclassified 16 times fewer WMLs. Initial testing suggests that the multispectral technique is highly reproducible and accurate with the potential to be applied to routinely collected clinical MRI data.

Full version: Available here

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ISBN: 0938-7994
Publication Year: 2010
Periodical: European Radiology
Periodical Number: 7
Volume: 20
Pages: 1684-1691
Author Address: Hernandez, MDV Univ Edinburgh, Western Gen Hosp, Div Clin Neurosci, SFC Brain Imaging Res Ctr,Image Anal Lab, Crewe Rd, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Midlothian, Scotland Univ Edinburgh, Western Gen Hosp, Div Clin Neurosci, SFC Brain Imaging Res Ctr,Image Anal Lab, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Midlothian, Scotland Univ Edinburgh, Sch Mol & Clin Med, Div Clin Neurosci, SFC Brain Imaging Res Ctr,SINAPSE Collaborat, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Midlothian, Scotland Univ Edinburgh, Ctr Cognit Ageing & Cognit Epidemiol, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Midlothian, Scotland