Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a brain disorder caused by disruption of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The dementia-like symptoms of NPH are often mistakenly attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. However, if correctly diagnosed, NPH patients can potentially be treated and their symptoms reversed through surgery. Observing the dilated ventricles through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one element in diagnosing NPH. Diagnostic accuracy therefore benefits from accurate, automatic parcellation of the ventricular system into its sub-compartments. We present an improvement to a whole brain segmentation approach designed for subjects with enlarged and deformed ventricles. Our method incorporates an adaptive ventricle atlas from an NPH-atlas-based segmentation as a prior and uses a more robust relaxation scheme for the multi-atlas label fusion approach that accurately labels the four sub-compartments of the ventricular system. We validated our method on NPH patients, demonstrating improvement over state-of-the-art segmentation techniques.
The subarachnoid space is a layer in the meninges that surrounds the brain and is filled with trabeculae and cerebrospinal fluid. Quantifying the volume and thickness of the subarachnoid space is of interest in order to study the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and compare with healthy subjects. We present an automatic method to reconstruct the subarachnoid space with subvoxel accuracy using a nested deformable model. The method initializes the deformable model using the convex hull of the union of the outer surfaces of the cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem. A region force is derived from the subject’s T1-weighted and T2-weighted MRI to drive the deformable model to the outer surface of the subarachnoid space. The proposed method is compared to a semi-automatic delineation from the subject’s T2-weighted MRI and an existing multi-atlas-based method. A small pilot study comparing the volume and thickness measurements in a set of age-matched subjects with normal pressure hydrocephalus and healthy controls is presented to show the efficacy of the proposed method.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) affects older adults and is thought to be caused by obstruction of the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). NPH typically presents with cognitive impairment, gait dysfunction, and urinary incontinence, and may account for more than five percent of all cases of dementia. Unlike most other causes of dementia, NPH can potentially be treated and the neurological dysfunction reversed by shunt surgery or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), which drain excess CSF. However, a major diagnostic challenge remains to robustly identify shunt-responsive NPH patients from patients with enlarged ventricles due to other neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, radiologists grade the severity of NPH by detailed examination and measurement of the ventricles based on stacks of 2D magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Here we propose a new method to automatically segment and label different compartments of the ventricles in NPH patients from MRIs. While this task has been achieved in healthy subjects, the ventricles in NPH are both enlarged and deformed, causing current algorithms to fail. Here we combine a patch-based tissue classification method with a registration-based multi-atlas labeling method to generate a novel algorithm that labels the lateral, third, and fourth ventricles in subjects with ventriculomegaly. The method is also applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease; a condition considered in the differential diagnosis of NPH. Comparison with state of the art segmentation techniques demonstrate substantial improvements in labeling the enlarged ventricles, indicating that this strategy may be a viable option for the diagnosis and characterization of NPH.
Image registration is the process of aligning separate images into a common reference frame so that they can
be compared visually or statistically. In order for this alignment to be accurate and correct it is important to
identify the correct anatomical correspondences between different subjects. We propose a new approach for a
feature-based, inter-subject deformable image registration method using a novel displacement field interpolation.
Among the top deformable registration algorithms in the literature today is the work of Shen et al. called
HAMMER. This is a feature-based, hierarchical registration algorithm, which introduces the novel idea of fusing
feature and intensity matching. The algorithm presented in this paper is an implementation of that method,
where significant improvements of some important aspects have been made. A new approach to the algorithm
will be introduced as well as clarification of some key features of the work of Shen et al. which have not been
elaborated in previous publications. The new algorithm, which is referred to as Mjolnir (Thor's hammer), was
validated on both synthesized and real T1 weighted MR brain images. The results were compared with results
generated by HAMMER and show significant improvements in accuracy with reduction in computation time.