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J Vis Exp. 2014 Apr 14;(86). doi: 10.3791/50887.

Lesion Explorer: a video-guided, standardized protocol for accurate and reliable MRI-derived volumetrics in Alzheimer's disease and normal elderly.

Author information

1
LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit, Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; joelr@sri.utoronto.ca.
2
LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit, Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
3
LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit, Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Department of Medicine (Neurology), Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto.

Abstract

Obtaining in vivo human brain tissue volumetrics from MRI is often complicated by various technical and biological issues. These challenges are exacerbated when significant brain atrophy and age-related white matter changes (e.g. Leukoaraiosis) are present. Lesion Explorer (LE) is an accurate and reliable neuroimaging pipeline specifically developed to address such issues commonly observed on MRI of Alzheimer's disease and normal elderly. The pipeline is a complex set of semi-automatic procedures which has been previously validated in a series of internal and external reliability tests(1,2). However, LE's accuracy and reliability is highly dependent on properly trained manual operators to execute commands, identify distinct anatomical landmarks, and manually edit/verify various computer-generated segmentation outputs. LE can be divided into 3 main components, each requiring a set of commands and manual operations: 1) Brain-Sizer, 2) SABRE, and 3) Lesion-Seg. Brain-Sizer's manual operations involve editing of the automatic skull-stripped total intracranial vault (TIV) extraction mask, designation of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (vCSF), and removal of subtentorial structures. The SABRE component requires checking of image alignment along the anterior and posterior commissure (ACPC) plane, and identification of several anatomical landmarks required for regional parcellation. Finally, the Lesion-Seg component involves manual checking of the automatic lesion segmentation of subcortical hyperintensities (SH) for false positive errors. While on-site training of the LE pipeline is preferable, readily available visual teaching tools with interactive training images are a viable alternative. Developed to ensure a high degree of accuracy and reliability, the following is a step-by-step, video-guided, standardized protocol for LE's manual procedures.

PMID:
24797507
PMCID:
PMC4168739
DOI:
10.3791/50887
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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