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A framework for optimal whole-sample histological quantification of neurite orientation dispersion in the human spinal cord

Grussu, F; Schneider, T; Yates, RL; Zhang, H; Wheeler-Kingshott, CA; DeLuca, GC; Alexander, DC; (2016) A framework for optimal whole-sample histological quantification of neurite orientation dispersion in the human spinal cord. Journal of Neuroscience Methods , 273 pp. 20-32. 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.08.002. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The complexity of fibre distributions in tissues is an important microstructural feature, now measurable in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) through orientation dispersion (OD) indices. OD metrics have gained popularity for the characterisation of neurite morphology, but they still lack systematic validation. This paper demonstrates a framework for whole-sample histological quantification of OD in spinal cord specimens, potentially useful for validating MRI-derived OD estimates. NEW METHOD: Our methodological framework is based on (i) sagittal sectioning; (ii) Palmgren's silver staining; (iii) structure tensor (ST) analysis; (iv) directional statistics. Novel elements are the data-driven optimisation of the spatial scale of ST analysis, and a new multivariate, weighted directional statistical approach for anisotropy-informed quantification of OD. RESULTS: Palmgren's silver staining of sagittal spinal cord sections provides robust visualisation of neuronal elements, enabling OD quantification. The choice of spatial scale of ST analysis influences OD values, and weighted directional statistics provide OD maps with high contrast-to-noise. Segmentation of neurites prior to OD quantification is recommended. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Our framework can potentially provide OD even in demyelinating diseases, where myelin-based histology is not suitable. As compared to conventional univariate approaches, our multivariate weighted directional statistics improve the contrast-to-noise of OD maps and more accurately describe the distribution of ST metrics. CONCLUSIONS: Our framework enables practical whole-specimen characterisation of OD in the spinal cord. We recommend tuning the scale of ST analysis for optimal OD quantification, as well as neurite segmentation and weighted directional statistics, of which examples are provided herein.

Type: Article
Title: A framework for optimal whole-sample histological quantification of neurite orientation dispersion in the human spinal cord
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.08.002
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.08.002
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. . This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Directional statistics, Histology, Orientation dispersion, Silver staining, Spinal cord, Structure tensor
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1508460
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