Radiology - Research Publications

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    Stroke population-specific neuroanatomical CT-MRI brain atlas
    Kaffenberger, T ; Venkatraman, V ; Steward, C ; Thijs, VN ; Bernhardt, J ; Desmond, PM ; Campbell, BC ; Yassi, N (SPRINGER, 2022-01-30)
    PURPOSE: Development of a freely available stroke population-specific anatomical CT/MRI atlas with a reliable normalisation pipeline for clinical CT. METHODS: By reviewing CT scans in suspected stroke patients and filtering the AIBL MRI database, respectively, we collected 50 normal-for-age CT and MRI scans to build a standard-resolution CT template and a high-resolution MRI template. The latter was manually segmented into anatomical brain regions. We then developed and validated a MRI to CT registration pipeline to align the MRI atlas onto the CT template. Finally, we developed a CT-to-CT-normalisation pipeline and tested its reliability by calculating Dice coefficient (Dice) and Average Hausdorff Distance (AHD) for predefined areas in 100 CT scans from ischaemic stroke patients. RESULTS: The resulting CT/MRI templates were age and sex matched to a general stroke population (median age 71.9 years (62.1-80.2), 60% male). Specifically, this accounts for relevant structural changes related to aging, which may affect registration. Applying the validated MRI to CT alignment (Dice > 0.78, Average Hausdorff Distance < 0.59 mm) resulted in our final CT-MRI atlas. The atlas has 52 manually segmented regions and covers the whole brain. The alignment of four cortical and subcortical brain regions with our CT-normalisation pipeline was reliable for small/medium/large infarct lesions (Dice coefficient > 0.5). CONCLUSION: The newly created CT-MRI brain atlas has the potential to standardise stroke lesion segmentation. Together with the automated normalisation pipeline, it allows analysis of existing and new datasets to improve prediction tools for stroke patients (free download at https://forms.office.com/r/v4t3sWfbKs ).
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    Assessment of the DTI-ALPS Parameter Along the Perivascular Space in Older Adults at Risk of Dementia
    Steward, CE ; Venkatraman, VK ; Lui, E ; Malpas, CB ; Ellis, KA ; Cyarto, EV ; Vivash, L ; O'Brien, TJ ; Velakoulis, D ; Ames, D ; Masters, CL ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Bammer, R ; Desmond, PM (WILEY, 2021-02-08)
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recently, there has been growing interest in the glymphatic system (the functional waste clearance pathway for the central nervous system and its role in flushing solutes (such as amyloid ß and tau), metabolic, and other cellular waste products in the brain. Herein, we investigate a recent potential biomarker for glymphatic activity (the diffusion tensor imaging along the perivascular space [DTI-ALPS] parameter) using diffusion MRI imaging in an elderly cohort comprising 10 cognitively normal, 10 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 16 Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: All 36 participants imaged on a Siemens 3.0T Tim Trio. Single-SE diffusion weighted Echo-planar imaging scans were acquired as well as T1 magnetization prepared rapid gradient echo, T2 axial, and susceptibility weighted imaging. Three millimeter regions of interest were drawn in the projection and association fibers adjacent to the medullary veins at the level of the lateral ventricle. The DTI-ALPS parameter was calculated in these regions and correlated with cognitive status, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and ADASCog11 measures. RESULTS: Significant correlations were found between DTI-ALPS and MMSE and ADASCog11 in the right hemisphere adjusting for age, sex, and APoE ε4 status. Significant differences were also found in the right DTI-ALPS indices between cognitively normal and AD groups (P < .026) and MCI groups (P < .025) in a univariate general linear model corrected for age, sex, and APoE ε4. Significant differences in apparent diffusion coefficient between cognitively normal and AD groups were found in the right projection fibers (P = .028). CONCLUSION: Further work is needed to determine the utility of DTI-ALPS index in larger elderly cohorts and whether it measures glymphatic activity.
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    Baseline White Matter Is Associated With Physical Fitness Change in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease
    Venkatraman, VK ; Steward, CE ; Cox, KL ; Ellis, KA ; Phal, PM ; Sharman, MJ ; Villemagne, VL ; Lai, MMY ; Cyarto, E ; Ames, D ; Szoeke, C ; Rowe, CC ; Masters, CL ; Lautenschlager, NT ; Desmond, PM (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-04-29)
    White matter (WM) microstructure is a sensitive marker to distinguish individuals at risk of Alzheimer's disease. The association of objective physical fitness (PF) measures and WM microstructure has not been explored and mixed results reported with physical activity (PA). Longitudinal studies of WM with PA and PF measures have had limited investigation. This study explored the relationship between objective PF measures over 24-months with "normal-appearing" WM microstructure. Data acquired on magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure "normal-appearing" WM microstructure at baseline and 24-months. Clinical variables such as cognitive and blood-based measures were collected longitudinally. Also, as part of the randomized controlled trial of a PA, extensive measures of PA and fitness were obtained over the 24 months. Bilateral corticospinal tracts (CST) and the corpus callosum showed a significant association between PF performance over 24-months and baseline WM microstructural measures. There was no significant longitudinal effect of the intervention or PF performance over 24-months. Baseline WM microstructural measures were significantly associated with PF performance over 24-months in this cohort of participants with vascular risk factors and at risk of Alzheimer's disease with distinctive patterns for each PF test.