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Tissue stiffness interrogation is fundamental in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, biomechanical models for predicting breast deformations have been created for several breast cancer applications. Within these applications, constitutive mechanical properties must be defined and the accuracy of this estimation directly impacts the overall performance of the model. In this study, we present an image-derived computational framework to obtain quantitative, patient specific stiffness properties for application in image-guided breast cancer surgery and interventions. The method uses two MR acquisitions of the breast in different supine gravity-loaded configurations to fit mechanical properties to a biomechanical breast model. A reproducibility assessment of the method was performed in a test-retest study using healthy volunteers and was further characterized in simulation. In five human data sets, the within subject coefficient of variation ranged from 10.7% to 27% and the intraclass correlation coefficient ranged from 0.91-0.944 for assessment of fibroglandular and adipose tissue stiffness. In simulation, fibroglandular content and deformation magnitude were shown to have significant effects on the shape and convexity of the objective function defined by image similarity. These observations provide an important step forward in characterizing the use of nonrigid image registration methodologies in conjunction with biomechanical models to estimate tissue stiffness. In addition, the results suggest that stiffness estimation methods using gravity-induced excitation can reliably and feasibly be implemented in breast cancer surgery/intervention workflows.
Although it is believed that neural activation can affect immune responses, very little is known about the neuroimmune interactions involved, especially the regulators of immune traffic across the blood-brain barrier which occurs in neuroimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Using a mouse model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, we show that autoreactive T cells access the central nervous system via the fifth lumbar spinal cord. This location is defined by IL-6 amplifier-dependent upregulation of the chemokine CCL20 in associated dorsal blood vessels, which in turn depends on gravity-induced activation of sensory neurons by the soleus muscle in the leg. Impairing soleus muscle contraction by tail suspension is sufficient to reduce localized chemokine expression and block entry of pathogenic T cells at the fifth lumbar cord, suggesting that regional neuroimmune interactions may offer therapeutic targets for a variety of neurological diseases.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Body fluid regulation is affected by gravity. The primary mechanisms of the etiology of hypovolemia found in simulation studies on earth and after space flight are different. The increased diuresis after increase of central blood volume postulated by Henry Gauer could not be found. Based on recent findings, new hypotheses about fluid volume regulation during space flight have emerged. The reduced blood volume in space is the result of 1) a negative balance of decreased fluid intake and smaller reduction of urine output; 2) fast fluid shifts from the intravascular to interstitial space as the result of lower transmural pressure after reduced compression of all tissue by gravitational forces especially of the thorax cage; and 3) fluid shifts from intravascular to muscle interstitial space because of less muscle tone required to maintain body posture. Additionally, loss of erythrocytes reduces blood volume. The attenuated diuresis during space flight can be explained by increased retention after stress-mediated sympathetic activation during initial phase of space flight, stimulation caused by reduced red cell mass, and activation after fast blood volume contraction. Additionally, the relation between plasma osmolarity and vasopressin release might be disturbed in microgravity.
Image-guided neurosurgery relies on accurate registration of the patient, the preoperative image series, and the surgical instruments in the same coordinate space. Recent clinical reports have documented the magnitude of gravity-induced brain deformation in the operating room and suggest these levels of tissue motion may compromise the integrity of such systems. We are investigating a model-based strategy which exploits the wealth of readily-available preoperative information in conjunction with intraoperatively acquired data to construct and drive a three dimensional (3-D) computational model which estimates volumetric displacements in order to update the neuronavigational image set. Using model calculations, the preoperative image database can be deformed to generate a more accurate representation of the surgical focus during an operation. In this paper, we present a preliminary study of four patients that experienced substantial brain deformation from gravity and correlate cortical shift measurements with model predictions. Additionally, we illustrate our image deforming algorithm and demonstrate that preoperative image resolution is maintained. Results over the four cases show that the brain shifted, on average, 5.7 mm in the direction of gravity and that model predictions could reduce this misregistration error to an average of 1.2 mm.
Gravity affects cardiac filling pressure and intravascular fluid distribution significantly. A major central fluid shift occurs when all hydrostatic gradients are abolished on entry into microgravity (microG). Understanding the dynamics of this shift requires continuous monitoring of cardiac filling pressure; central venous pressure (CVP) measurement is the only feasible means of accomplishing this. We directly measured CVP in three subjects: one aboard the Spacelab Life Sciences-1 space shuttle flight and two aboard the Spacelab Life Sciences-2 space shuttle flight. Continuous CVP measurements, with a 4-Fr catheter, began 4 h before launch and continued into microG. Mean CVP was 8.4 cmH2O seated before flight, 15.0 cmH2O in the supine legs-elevated posture in the shuttle, and 2.5 cmH2O after 10 min in microG. Although CVP decreased, the left ventricular end-diastolic dimension measured by echocardiography increased from a mean of 4.60 cm supine preflight to 4.97 cm within 48 h in microG. These data are consistent with increased cardiac filling early in microG despite a fall in CVP, suggesting that the relationship between CVP and actual transmural left ventricular filling pressure is altered in microG.