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PURPOSE - MR fingerprinting (MRF) sequences permit efficient T and T estimation in cranial and extracranial regions, but these areas may include substantial fat signals that bias T and T estimates. MRI fat signal fraction estimation is also a topic of active research in itself, but may be complicated by B heterogeneity and blurring during spiral k-space acquisitions, which are commonly used for MRF. An MRF method is proposed that separates fat and water signals, estimates water T and T, and accounts for B effects with spiral blurring correction, in a single sequence.
THEORY AND METHODS - A k-space-based fat-water separation method is further extended to unbalanced steady-state free precession MRF with swept echo time. Repeated application of this k-space fat-water separation to demodulated forms of the measured data allows a B map and correction to be approximated. The method is compared with MRF without fat separation across a broad range of fat signal fractions (FSFs), water Ts and Ts, and under heterogeneous static fields in simulations, phantoms, and in vivo.
RESULTS - The proposed method's FSF estimates had a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.990 with conventional measurements, and reduced biases in the T and T estimates due to fat signal relative to other MRF sequences by several hundred ms. The B correction improved the FSF, T, and T estimation compared to those estimates without correction.
CONCLUSION - The proposed method improves MRF water T and T estimation in the presence of fat and provides accurate FSF estimation with inline B correction.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
For many cochlear implant (CI) users, visual cues are vitally important for interpreting the impoverished auditory speech information that an implant conveys. Although the temporal relationship between auditory and visual stimuli is crucial for how this information is integrated, audiovisual temporal processing in CI users is poorly understood. In this study, we tested unisensory (auditory alone, visual alone) and multisensory (audiovisual) temporal processing in postlingually deafened CI users (n = 48) and normal-hearing controls (n = 54) using simultaneity judgment (SJ) and temporal order judgment (TOJ) tasks. We varied the timing onsets between the auditory and visual components of either a syllable/viseme or a simple flash/beep pairing, and participants indicated either which stimulus appeared first (TOJ) or if the pair occurred simultaneously (SJ). Results indicate that temporal binding windows-the interval within which stimuli are likely to be perceptually 'bound'-are not significantly different between groups for either speech or non-speech stimuli. However, the point of subjective simultaneity for speech was less visually leading in CI users, who interestingly, also had improved visual-only TOJ thresholds. Further signal detection analysis suggests that this SJ shift may be due to greater visual bias within the CI group, perhaps reflecting heightened attentional allocation to visual cues.
PURPOSE - Numerous studies have adopted resting-state functional MRI methods to infer functional connectivity between cortical regions, but very few have translated them to the spinal cord, despite its critical role in the central nervous system. Resting-state functional connectivity between gray matter horns of the spinal cord has previously been shown to be detectable in humans and nonhuman primates, but it has not been reported previously in rodents.
METHODS - Resting-state functional MRI of the cervical spinal cord of live anesthetized rats was performed at 9.4 T. The quality of the functional images acquired was assessed, and quantitative analyses of functional connectivity in C4-C7 of the spinal cord were derived.
RESULTS - Robust gray matter horn-to-horn connectivity patterns were found that were statistically significant when compared with adjacent control regions. Specifically, dorsal-dorsal and ventral-ventral connectivity measurements were most prominent, while ipsilateral dorsal-ventral connectivity was also observed but to a lesser extent. Quantitative evaluation of reproducibility also revealed moderate robustness in the bilateral sensory and motor networks that was weaker in the dorsal-ventral connections.
CONCLUSIONS - This study reports the first evidence of resting-state functional circuits within gray matter in the rat spinal cord, and verifies their detectability using resting-state functional MRI at 9.4 T. Magn Reson Med 79:2773-2783, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
OBJECTIVE - Currently, approximately 60-70% of patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) remain seizure-free 3 years after surgery. The goal of this work was to develop a presurgical connectivity-based biomarker to identify those patients who will have an unfavorable seizure outcome 1-year postsurgery.
METHODS - Resting-state functional and diffusion-weighted 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was acquired from 22 unilateral (15 right, 7 left) patients with TLE and 35 healthy controls. A seizure propagation network was identified including ipsilateral (to seizure focus) and contralateral hippocampus, thalamus, and insula, with bilateral midcingulate and precuneus. Between each pair of regions, functional connectivity based on correlations of low frequency functional MRI signals, and structural connectivity based on streamline density of diffusion MRI data were computed and transformed to metrics related to healthy controls of the same age.
RESULTS - A consistent connectivity pattern representing the network expected in patients with seizure-free outcome was identified using eight patients who were seizure-free at 1-year postsurgery. The hypothesis that increased similarity to the model would be associated with better seizure outcome was tested in 14 other patients (Engel class IA, seizure-free: n = 5; Engel class IB-II, favorable: n = 4; Engel class III-IV, unfavorable: n = 5) using two similarity metrics: Pearson correlation and Euclidean distance. The seizure-free connectivity model successfully separated all the patients with unfavorable outcome from the seizure-free and favorable outcome patients (p = 0.0005, two-tailed Fisher's exact test) through the combination of the two similarity metrics with 100% accuracy. No other clinical and demographic predictors were successful in this regard.
SIGNIFICANCE - This work introduces a methodologic framework to assess individual patients, and demonstrates the ability to use network connectivity as a potential clinical tool for epilepsy surgery outcome prediction after more comprehensive validation.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International League Against Epilepsy.
PURPOSE - MRI of cortical bone has the potential to offer new information about fracture risk. Current methods are typically performed with 3D acquisitions, which suffer from long scan times and are generally limited to extremities. This work proposes using 2D UTE with half pulses for quantitatively mapping bound and pore water in cortical bone.
METHODS - Half-pulse 2D UTE methods were implemented on a 3T Philips Achieva scanner using an optimized slice-select gradient waveform, with preparation pulses to selectively image bound or pore water. The 2D methods were quantitatively compared with previously implemented 3D methods in the tibia in five volunteers.
RESULTS - The mean difference between bound and pore water concentration acquired from 3D and 2D sequences was 0.6 and 0.9 mol H/L (3 and 12%, respectively). While 2D pore water methods tended to slightly overestimate concentrations relative to 3D methods, differences were less than scan-rescan uncertainty and expected differences between healthy and fracture-prone bones.
CONCLUSION - Quantitative bound and pore water concentration mapping in cortical bone can be accelerated by 2 orders of magnitude using 2D protocols with optimized half-pulse excitation. Magn Reson Med 77:945-950, 2017. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
© 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
In the present work, we reported a new nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE)-mediated magnetization transfer (MT) signal at around -1.6ppm (NOE(-1.6)) in rat brain and investigated its application in the detection of acute ischemic stroke in rodent model. Using continuous wave (CW) MT sequence, the NOE(-1.6) is reliably detected in rat brain. The amplitude of this new NOE signal in rat brain was quantified using a 5-pool Lorentzian Z-spectral fitting method. Amplitudes of amide, amine, NOE at -3.5ppm (NOE(-3.5)), as well as NOE(-1.6) were mapped using this fitting method in rat brain. Several other conventional imaging parameters (R1, R2, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and semi-solid pool size ratio (PSR)) were also measured. Our results show that NOE(-1.6), R1, R2, ADC, and APT signals from stroke lesion have significant changes at 0.5-1h after stroke. Compared with several other imaging parameters, NOE(-1.6) shows the strongest contrast differences between stroke and contralateral normal tissues and stays consistent over time until 2h after onset of stroke. Our results demonstrate that this new NOE(-1.6) signal in rat brain is a new potential contrast for assessment of acute stroke in vivo and might provide broad applications in the detection of other abnormal tissues.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Radiation force-based elasticity imaging is currently being investigated as a possible diagnostic modality for a number of clinical tasks, including liver fibrosis staging and the characterization of cardiovascular tissue. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between peak displacement magnitude and image quality and propose using a Bayesian estimator to overcome the challenge of obtaining viable data in low displacement signal environments. Displacement data quality were quantified for two common radiation force-based applications, acoustic radiation force impulse imaging, which measures the displacement within the region of excitation, and shear wave elasticity imaging, which measures displacements outside the region of excitation. Performance as a function of peak displacement magnitude for acoustic radiation force impulse imaging was assessed in simulations and lesion phantoms by quantifying signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio for varying peak displacement magnitudes. Overall performance for shear wave elasticity imaging was assessed in ex vivo chicken breast samples by measuring the displacement SNR as a function of distance from the excitation source. The results show that for any given displacement magnitude level, the Bayesian estimator can increase the SNR by approximately 9 dB over normalized cross-correlation and the contrast-to-noise ratio by a factor of two. We conclude from the results that a Bayesian estimator may be useful for increasing data quality in SNR-limited imaging environments.
Copyright © 2016 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Acoustic clutter produced by off-axis and multipath scattering is known to cause image degradation, and in some cases these sources may be the prime determinants of in vivo image quality. We have previously shown some success addressing these sources of image degradation by modeling the aperture domain signal from different sources of clutter, and then decomposing aperture domain data using the modeled sources. Our previous model had some shortcomings including model mismatch and failure to recover B-Mode speckle statistics. These shortcomings are addressed here by developing a better model and by using a general regularization approach appropriate for the model and data. We present results with L1 (lasso), L2 (ridge), and L1/L2 combined (elastic-net) regularization methods. We call our new method aperture domain model image reconstruction (ADMIRE). Our results demonstrate that ADMIRE with L1 regularization, or weighted toward L1 in the case of elastic-net regularization, have improved image quality. L1 by itself works well, but additional improvements are seen with elastic-net regularization over the pure L1 constraint. On in vivo example cases, L1 regularization showed mean contrast improvements of 4.6 and 6.8 dB on fundamental and harmonic images, respectively. Elastic net regularization (α = 0.9) showed mean contrast improvements of 17.8 dB on fundamental images and 11.8 dB on harmonic images. We also demonstrate that in uncluttered Field II simulations the decluttering algorithm produces the same contrast, contrast-tonoise ratio, and speckle SNR as normal B-mode imaging, demonstrating that ADMIRE preserves typical image features.
Radiation-force-based elasticity imaging describes a group of techniques that use acoustic radiation force (ARF) to displace tissue to obtain qualitative or quantitative measurements of tissue properties. Because ARF-induced displacements are on the order of micrometers, tracking these displacements in vivo can be challenging. Previously, it has been shown that Bayesian-based estimation can overcome some of the limitations of a traditional displacement estimator such as normalized cross-correlation (NCC). In this work, we describe a Bayesian framework that combines a generalized Gaussian-Markov random field (GGMRF) prior with an automated method for selecting the prior's width. We then evaluate its performance in the context of tracking the micrometer-order displacements encountered in an ARF-based method such as ARF impulse (ARFI) imaging. The results show that bias, variance, and mean-square error (MSE) performance vary with prior shape and width, and that an almost one order-of-magnitude reduction in MSE can be achieved by the estimator at the automatically selected prior width. Lesion simulations show that the proposed estimator has a higher contrast-to-noise ratio but lower contrast than NCC, median-filtered NCC, and the previous Bayesian estimator, with a non-Gaussian prior shape having better lesion-edge resolution than a Gaussian prior. In vivo results from a cardiac, radio-frequency ablation ARFI imaging dataset show quantitative improvements in lesion contrast-to-noise ratio over NCC as well as the previous Bayesian estimator.
PURPOSE - To investigate the influence of cell membrane permeability on diffusion measurements over a broad range of diffusion times.
METHODS - Human myelogenous leukemia K562 cells were cultured and treated with saponin to selectively alter cell membrane permeability, resulting in a broad physiologically relevant range of 0.011-0.044 μm/ms. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were acquired with the effective diffusion time (Δeff ) ranging from 0.42 to 3000 ms. Cosine-modulated oscillating gradient spin echo (OGSE) measurements were performed to achieve short Δeff from 0.42 to 5 ms, while stimulated echo acquisitions were used to achieve long Δeff from 11 to 2999 ms. Computer simulations were also performed to support the experimental results.
RESULTS - Both computer simulations and experiments in vitro showed that the influence of membrane permeability on diffusion MR measurements is highly dependent on the choice of diffusion time, and it is negligible only when the diffusion time is at least one order of magnitude smaller than the intracellular exchange lifetime.
CONCLUSION - The influence of cell membrane permeability on the measured ADCs is negligible in OGSE measurements at moderately high frequencies. By contrast, cell membrane permeability has a significant influence on ADC and quantitative diffusion measurements at low frequencies such as those sampled using conventional pulsed gradient methods.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.