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Multi-component MRI transverse-relaxation parameter estimation to detect and monitor neuromuscular disease

Zafeiropoulos, Nikolaos; (2021) Multi-component MRI transverse-relaxation parameter estimation to detect and monitor neuromuscular disease. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

We aimed to optimise the estimation of skeletal muscle-water spin-spin relaxation time (T2m), and fat fraction estimated from multi-echo MRI, as potential biomarkers, by accounting for instrumental factors such as B1 errors, non-Gaussian noise and non-ideal echo train evolution. A multi-component slice-profile-compensated extended phase graph (sEPG) model for multi-echo Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) spin-echo sequence signals was implemented, modelling the fat signal as two empirically calibrated sEPG components with fixed parameters, and the remaining unknown parameters (B1 field factor, T2m, fat fraction (ffa), global amplitude and Rician noise SD) determined by maximum likelihood estimation. After validation using a calibrated test object the algorithm was used to analyse clinical muscle study data from patient groups with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Kennedy’s disease (KD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and matched healthy controls. Parameter maps were generated using quality control steps to reject pixels failing fit quality or physical meaningfulness criteria. Muscle fat-fraction was also determined independently by 3-point Dixon MRI (ffd). In ALS and KD median T2m were significantly elevated compared with healthy controls in varied patterns and time courses, whereas it was decreased in DMD; other T2m distribution histogram metrics such as the skewness and full width at quarter maximum also differed significantly between patients and healthy volunteers. Quantitative comparison of ffa and ffd in the same muscles revealed a monotonic relationship deviating from linearity due to differing deviations from the assumed ideal signal behaviour in each method. Finally, the effects upon estimation accuracy and precision of practically realisable pulse sequence parameter choices were explored in simulations and with real data. Recommendations are presented for optimal choices. Clinically practical conventional CPMG sequences, combined with an appropriate signal model and parameter estimation method can provide robust T2m and ffa measures which change in disease and may sensitively reflect different aspects of neuromuscular pathology.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Multi-component MRI transverse-relaxation parameter estimation to detect and monitor neuromuscular disease
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123074
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