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Consistent 4D cortical thickness measurement for longitudinal neuroimaging study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and BRIC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


Accurate and reliable method for measuring the thickness of human cerebral cortex provides powerful tool for diagnosing and studying of a variety of neuro-degenerative and psychiatric disorders. In these studies, capturing the subtle longitudinal changes of cortical thickness during pathological or physiological development is of great importance. For this purpose, in this paper, we propose a 4D cortical thickness measuring method. Different from the existing temporal-independent methods, our method fully utilizes the 4D information given by temporal serial images. Therefore, it is much more resistant to noises from the imaging and pre-processing steps. The experiments on longitudinal image datasets from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) show that our method significantly improves the longitudinal stability, i.e. temporal consistency, in cortical thickness measurement, which is crucial for longitudinal study. Power analysis of the correlation between cortical thickness and Mini-Mental-Status-Examination (MMSE) score demonstrated that our method generates statistically more significant results when comparing with the 3D temporal-independent thickness measuring methods.

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