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Tissue Probability Based Registration of Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Malovani, Cfir; Friedman, Naama; Ben-Eliezer, Noam; Tavor, Ido
BACKGROUND:Current registration methods for diffusion-MRI (dMRI) data mostly focus on white matter (WM) areas. Recently, dMRI has been employed for the characterization of gray matter (GM) microstructure, emphasizing the need for registration methods that consider all tissue types. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To develop a dMRI registration method based on GM, WM, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tissue probability maps (TPMs). STUDY TYPE/METHODS:Retrospective longitudinal study. POPULATION/METHODS:Thirty-two healthy participants were scanned twice (legacy data), divided into a training-set (n = 16) and a test-set (n = 16), and 35 randomly-selected participants from the Human Connectome Project. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE/UNASSIGNED:3.0T, diffusion-weighted spin-echo echo-planar sequence; T1-weighted spoiled gradient-recalled echo (SPGR) sequence. ASSESSMENT/RESULTS:A joint segmentation-registration approach was implemented: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) maps were classified into TPMs using machine-learning approaches. The resulting GM, WM, and CSF probability maps were employed as features for image alignment. Validation was performed on the test dataset and the HCP dataset. Registration performance was compared with current mainstream registration tools. STATISTICAL TESTS/UNASSIGNED:Classifiers used for segmentation were evaluated using leave-one-out cross-validation and scored using Dice-index. Registration success was evaluated by voxel-wise variance, normalized cross-correlation of registered DTI maps, intra- and inter-subject similarity of the registered TPMs, and region-based intra-subject similarity using an anatomical atlas. One-way ANOVAs were performed to compare between our method and other registration tools. RESULTS:The proposed method outperformed mainstream registration tools as indicated by lower voxel-wise variance of registered DTI maps (SD decrease of 10%) and higher similarity between registered TPMs within and across participants, for all tissue types (Dice increase of 0.1-0.2; P < 0.05). DATA CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:A joint segmentation-registration approach based on diffusion-driven TPMs provides a more accurate registration of dMRI data, outperforming other registration tools. Our method offers a "translation" of diffusion data into structural information in the form of TPMs, allowing to directly align diffusion and structural images. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:1 Technical Efficacy Stage: 1.
PMID: 33894095
ISSN: 1522-2586
CID: 4852812

Post-Run T2 Mapping Changes in Knees of Adolescent Basketball Players

Chechik, Yigal; Beit Ner, Eran; Lysyy, Oleg; Tal, Sigal; Stern, Neta; Agar, Gabriel; Beer, Yiftach; Ben-Eliezer, Noam; Lindner, Dror
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). DESIGN/UNASSIGNED:test. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:< 0.001). The lateral regions did not show any significant changes. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Running leads to microstructural changes in the articular cartilage in several weight-bearing areas of the medial compartment, both in the femoral and the tibial cartilage.
PMID: 34128410
ISSN: 1947-6043
CID: 4911552

Quantitative platform for accurate and reproducible assessment of transverse (T2 ) relaxation time

Radunsky, Dvir; Stern, Neta; Nassar, Jannette; Tsarfaty, Galia; Blumenfeld-Katzir, Tamar; Ben-Eliezer, Noam
MRI's transverse relaxation time (T2 ) is sensitive to tissues' composition and pathological state. While variations in T2 values can be used as clinical biomarkers, it is challenging to quantify this parameter in vivo due to the complexity of the MRI signal model, differences in protocol implementations, and hardware imperfections. Herein, we provide a detailed analysis of the echo modulation curve (EMC) platform, offering accurate and reproducible mapping of T2 values, from 2D multi-slice multi-echo spin-echo (MESE) protocols. Computer simulations of the full Bloch equations are used to generate an advanced signal model, which accounts for stimulated echoes and transmit field (B1+ ) inhomogeneities. In addition to quantifying T2 values, the EMC platform also provides proton density (PD) maps, and fat-water fraction maps. The algorithm's accuracy, reproducibility, and insensitivity to T1 values are validated on a phantom constructed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and on in vivo human brains. EMC-derived T2 maps show excellent agreement with ground truth values for both in vitro and in vivo models. Quantitative values are accurate and stable across scan settings and for the physiological range of T2 values, while showing robustness to main field (B0 ) inhomogeneities, to variations in T1 relaxation time, and to magnetization transfer. Extension of the algorithm to two-component fitting yields accurate fat and water T2 maps along with their relative fractions, similar to a reference three-point Dixon technique. Overall, the EMC platform allows to generate accurate and stable T2 maps, with a full brain coverage using a standard MESE protocol and at feasible scan times. The utility of EMC-based T2 maps was demonstrated on several clinical applications, showing robustness to variations in other magnetic properties. The algorithm is available online as a full stand-alone package, including an intuitive graphical user interface.
PMID: 33993573
ISSN: 1099-1492
CID: 4876462

Author Correction: Novel multimodal molecular imaging of Vitamin H (Biotin) transporter activity in the murine placenta

Ben-Eliezer, Noam; Lysenko, Marina; Bilton, Inbal E; Golani, Ofra; Bartels, Jennifer L; Fernandez, Solana R; Aweda, Tolulope A; Clanton, Nicholas A; Beacham, Rebecca; Lapi, Suzanne E; Garbow, Joel R; Neeman, Michal
PMID: 33723334
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 4817582

Novel multimodal molecular imaging of Vitamin H (Biotin) transporter activity in the murine placenta

Noam, Ben Eliezer; Marina, Lysenko; Inbal, Biton E; Ofra, Golani; Jennifer, Bartels L; Solana, Fernandez R; Tolulope, Aweda A; Nicholas, Clanton A; Rebecca, Beacham; Suzanne, Lapi E; Joel, Garbow R; Michal, Neeman
Vitamin H (biotin) is delivered to the fetus transplacentally by an active biotin-transport mechanism and is critical for fetal development. Our objective was to develop a comprehensive MRI technique for mapping biotin transporter activity in the murine placenta. Visualization of transporter activity can employ MRI's unique T2*-dependent signal 'off-switch', which is triggered by transporter mediated aggregation of biotinylated contrast agent (b-BSA-Gd-DTPA). MRI data were collected from pregnant mice after administration of b-BSA-Gd-DTPA and analyzed using a new sub-voxel biophysical signal model. Validation experiments included competition with native biotin, comparative tests using PET, histology, and ICPMS. MRI signal was governed by binding, aggregation, and clearance of biotin (confirmed by histology). Signal dynamics reflected the placenta's perfusion pattern modulated by biotin transporter activity and trophoblast mediated retention, and were in congruence with a three-compartment sub-voxel model. Pre-saturation of the transporters with free biotin suppressed b-BSA-Gd-DTPA uptake. The results were confirmed by PET, histology and ICPMS. The presented MRI-based platform allows to track activity of essential molecular transporters in the placenta, reflecting a transporter-mediated uptake, followed by retention and aggregation, and recycling associated with the large b-BSA-Gd-DTPA conjugate. The presented DCE-MRI technique can furthermore be used to map and characterize microstructural compartmentation and transporter activity without exposing the fetus to contrast media.
PMID: 33247173
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 4702732

A New Method for Cartilage Evaluation in Femoroacetabular Impingement Using Quantitative T2 Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Preliminary Validation against Arthroscopic Findings

Ben-Eliezer, Noam; Raya, José G; Babb, James S; Youm, Thomas; Sodickson, Daniel K; Lattanzi, Riccardo
OBJECTIVE:The outcome of arthroscopic treatment for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) depends on the preoperative status of the hip cartilage. Quantitative T2 can detect early biochemical cartilage changes, but its routine implementation is challenging. Furthermore, intrinsic T2 variability between patients makes it difficult to define a threshold to identify cartilage lesions. To address this, we propose a normalized T2-index as a new method to evaluate cartilage in FAI. DESIGN/METHODS:We retrospectively analyzed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of 18 FAI patients with arthroscopically confirmed cartilage defects. Cartilage T2 maps were reconstructed from multi-spin-echo 3-T data using the echo-modulation-curve (EMC) model-based technique. The central femoral cartilage, assumed healthy in early-stage FAI, was used as the normalization reference to define a T2-index. We investigated the ability of the T2-index to detect surgically confirmed cartilage lesions. RESULTS:The average T2-index was 1.14 ± 0.1 and 1.13 ± 0.1 for 2 separated segmentations. Using T2-index >1 as the threshold for damaged cartilage, accuracy was 88% and 100% for the 2 segmentations. We found moderate intraobserver repeatability, although separate segmentations yielded comparable accuracy. Damaged cartilage could not be identified using nonnormalized average T2 values. CONCLUSIONS:This preliminary study confirms the importance of normalizing T2 values to account for interpatient variability and suggests that the T2-index is a promising biomarker for the detection of cartilage lesions in FAI. Future work is needed to confirm that combining T2-index with morphologic MRI and other quantitative biomarkers could improve cartilage assessment in FAI.
PMID: 31455091
ISSN: 1947-6043
CID: 4054412

Analysis of magnetization transfer (MT) influence on quantitative mapping of T2 relaxation time

Radunsky, Dvir; Blumenfeld-Katzir, Tamar; Volovyk, Osnat; Tal, Assaf; Barazany, Daniel; Tsarfaty, Galia; Ben-Eliezer, Noam
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:measurements. METHODS:values were extracted for each model and protocol. RESULTS:recovery, whereas smaller contribution was caused by MMP interactions. Inter-slice gap had a similar effect on in vivo MTR (21.2%), in comparison to increasing the number of slices (18.9%). CONCLUSIONS:.
PMID: 30860287
ISSN: 1522-2594
CID: 3733042

Tribute to Anne Bertrand (1978-2018): Neuroradiologist, scientist, teacher and friend In Memoriam [Biography]

Dormont, Didier; Ben-Eliezer, Noam; Burgos, Ninon; Colliot, Olivier; Fallani, Fabrizio De Vico; Dhenain, Marc; Durrleman, Stanley; Epelbaum, Stephane; Habert, Marie-Odile; Le Ber, Isabelle; Meder, Jean-Francois; Menu, Yves; Oppenheim, Catherine; Wadghiri, Youssef Z.
Anne Bertrand passed away on March 2nd 2018. She was in a touring-skiers group led by a guide and swept by an avalanche in the French Alps. This paper is a tribute to Anne and an attempt, by some of her closest colleagues, to provide an overview of her major contributions.
ISSN: 0150-9861
CID: 3809982

Trimodal Nanoparticle Contrast Agent for CT, MRI and SPECT Imaging: Synthesis and Characterization of Radiolabeled Core/Shell Iron Oxide@Gold Nanoparticles

Motiei, Menachem; Dreifuss, Tamar; Sadan, Tamar; Omer, Noam; Blumenfeld-Katzir, Tamar; Fragogeorgi, Eirini; Loudos, George; Popovtzer, Rachela; Ben-Eliezer, Noam
Recently, nanoparticles have emerged as promising contrast agents for various imaging applications. In this paper, we present the synthesis and characterization of a novel hybrid nano-structure, consisting of an iron oxide@gold nanoparticle, labeled with technetium-99m, for trimodal SPECT/CT/MRI imaging. The particles showed efficient capabilities as CT/MRI imaging agent and high radiochemical yield, indicating a potential single hybrid material for multimodal SPECT/CT/MRI.
ISSN: 0366-7022
CID: 3727002

New rapid, accurate T2 quantification detects pathology in normal-appearing brain regions of relapsing-remitting MS patients

Shepherd, Timothy M; Kirov, Ivan I; Charlson, Erik; Bruno, Mary; Babb, James; Sodickson, Daniel K; Ben-Eliezer, Noam
INTRODUCTION: Quantitative T2 mapping may provide an objective biomarker for occult nervous tissue pathology in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). We applied a novel echo modulation curve (EMC) algorithm to identify T2 changes in normal-appearing brain regions of subjects with RRMS (N = 27) compared to age-matched controls (N = 38). METHODS: The EMC algorithm uses Bloch simulations to model T2 decay curves in multi-spin-echo MRI sequences, independent of scanner, and scan-settings. T2 values were extracted from normal-appearing white and gray matter brain regions using both expert manual regions-of-interest and user-independent FreeSurfer segmentation. RESULTS: Compared to conventional exponential T2 modeling, EMC fitting provided more accurate estimations of T2 with less variance across scans, MRI systems, and healthy individuals. Thalamic T2 was increased 8.5% in RRMS subjects (p < 0.001) and could be used to discriminate RRMS from healthy controls well (AUC = 0.913). Manual segmentation detected both statistically significant increases (corpus callosum & temporal stem) and decreases (posterior limb internal capsule) in T2 associated with RRMS diagnosis (all p < 0.05). In healthy controls, we also observed statistically significant T2 differences for different white and gray matter structures. CONCLUSIONS: The EMC algorithm precisely characterizes T2 values, and is able to detect subtle T2 changes in normal-appearing brain regions of RRMS patients. These presumably capture both axon and myelin changes from inflammation and neurodegeneration. Further, T2 variations between different brain regions of healthy controls may correlate with distinct nervous tissue environments that differ from one another at a mesoscopic length-scale.
PMID: 28239545
ISSN: 2213-1582
CID: 2471012