Dual-Sensitivity Multiple Sclerosis Lesion and CSF Segmentation for Multichannel 3T Brain MRI


Dominik S Meier, Charles RG Guttmann, Subhash Tummala, Nicola Moscufo, Michele Cavallari, Shahamat Tauhid, Rohit Bakshi, and Howard L Weiner. 2018. “Dual-Sensitivity Multiple Sclerosis Lesion and CSF Segmentation for Multichannel 3T Brain MRI.” J Neuroimaging, 28, 1, Pp. 36-47.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A pipeline for fully automated segmentation of 3T brain MRI scans in multiple sclerosis (MS) is presented. This 3T morphometry (3TM) pipeline provides indicators of MS disease progression from multichannel datasets with high-resolution 3-dimensional T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) contrast. 3TM segments white (WM) and gray matter (GM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to assess atrophy and provides WM lesion (WML) volume. METHODS: To address nonuniform distribution of noise/contrast (eg, posterior fossa in 3D-FLAIR) of 3T magnetic resonance imaging, the method employs dual sensitivity (different sensitivities for lesion detection in predefined regions). We tested this approach by assigning different sensitivities to supratentorial and infratentorial regions, and validated the segmentation for accuracy against manual delineation, and for precision in scan-rescans. RESULTS: Intraclass correlation coefficients of .95, .91, and .86 were observed for WML and CSF segmentation accuracy and brain parenchymal fraction (BPF). Dual sensitivity significantly reduced infratentorial false-positive WMLs, affording increases in global sensitivity without decreasing specificity. Scan-rescan yielded coefficients of variation (COVs) of 8% and .4% for WMLs and BPF and COVs of .8%, 1%, and 2% for GM, WM, and CSF volumes. WML volume difference/precision was .49 ± .72 mL over a range of 0-24 mL. Correlation between BPF and age was r = .62 (P = .0004), and effect size for detecting brain atrophy was Cohen's d = 1.26 (standardized mean difference vs. healthy controls). CONCLUSIONS: This pipeline produces probability maps for brain lesions and tissue classes, facilitating expert review/correction and may provide high throughput, efficient characterization of MS in large datasets.