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Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2014 Apr 9;9039:90390I.

The Power of Hybrid/Fusion Imaging Metrics in Future PACS Systems: A Case Study into the White Matter Hyperintensity Prenumbra using FLAIR and Diffusion MR.

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University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA ; Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Most white matter related neurological disease exhibit a large number of White Matter Hyperintensities (WMHs) on FLAIR MRI images. However, these lesions are not well understood. At the same time, Diffusion MRI has been gaining popularity as a powerful method of characterizing White Matter (WM) integrity. This work aims to study the behavior of the diffusion signal within the WMH voxels. The goal is to develop hybrid MR metrics that leverage information from multiple MR acquisitions to solve clinical problems. In our case, we are trying to address the WMH penumbra (as defined by Maillard et al 20112) where WMH delineates a foci that is more widespread than than the actual damage area presumably due to acute inflammation. Our results show that diffusion MR metrics may be able to better delineate tissue that is inflamed versus scar tissue but may be less specific to lesions than FLAIR. Therefore, a hybrid metric that encodes information from both FLAIR and Diffusion MR may yield new and novel imaging information about the progression of white matter disease progression. We hope that this work also demonstrates how future PACS systems could have image fusion capabilities that would be able to leverage information from multiple imaging series to yield new and novel imaging contrast.


Alzheimer's Disease; DTI; Dementia; Diffusion MRI; FLAIR; MRI; Neuroimaging; WMH; White Matter

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