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Compartment models and model selection for in-vivo diffusion-MRI of human brain white matter

Ferizi, U; (2014) Compartment models and model selection for in-vivo diffusion-MRI of human brain white matter. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Diffusion MRI microstructure imaging provides a unique noninvasive probe into tissue microstructure. The technique relies on mathematical models, relating microscopic tissue features to the MR signal. The assumption of Gaussian diffusion oversimplifies the behaviour of water in complex media. Multi-compartment models fit the signal better and enable the estimation of more specific indices, such as axon diameter and density. A previous model comparison framework used data from fixed rat brains to show that three compartment models, designed for intra/extra-axonal diffusion, best explain multi-b-value datasets. The purpose of this PhD work is to translate this analysis to in vivo human brain white matter. It updates the framework methodology by enriching the acquisition protocol, extending the model base and improving the model fitting. In the first part of this thesis, the original fixed rat study is taken in-vivo by using a live human subject on a clinical scanner. A preliminary analysis cannot differentiate the models well. The acquisition protocol is then extended to include a richer angular resolution of diffusion- sampling gradient directions. Compared with ex-vivo data, simpler three-compartment models emerge. Changes in diffusion behaviour and acquisition protocol are likely to have influenced the results. The second part considers models that explicitly seek to explain fibre dispersion, another potentially specific biomarker of neurological diseases. This study finds that models that capture fibre dispersion are preferred, showing the importance of modelling dispersion even in apparently coherent fibres. In the third part, we improve the methodology. First, during the data pre-processing we narrow the region of interest. Second, the model fitting takes into account the varying echo time and compartmental tissue relaxation; we also test the benefit to model performance of different compartmental diffusivities. Next, we evaluate the inter- and intra-subject reproducibility of ranking. In the fourth part, high-gradient Connectom-Skyra data are used to assess the generalisability of earlier results derived from a standard Achieva scanner. Results showed a reproducibility of major trends in the model ranking. In particular, dispersion models explain low gradient strength data best, but cannot capture Connectom signal that remains at very high b-values. The fifth part uses cross-validation and bootstrapping as complementary means to model ranking. Both methods support the previous ranking; however, the leave-one-shell-out cross- validation supports less difference between the models than bootstrapping.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Compartment models and model selection for in-vivo diffusion-MRI of human brain white matter
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
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 > Neuroinflammation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1455976
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