Iron Deposition Detection

Cortical Iron Deposition Detection And Quantification Using High Field MR Images

N Trung Doan,
Julien Milles

Supported by CTMM LeARN

Background

Currently, the role of MRI in the diagnostic work-up of patients with memory loss or dementia, in whom AD is suspected, is limited. MRI is used to exclude other causes than AD for the symptoms (e.g. brain tumors), and to gain positive evidence for the presence of AD. The evidence for AD that can be obtained with conventional MRI techniques is limited to the presence of focal atrophy, which is an indirect, non-specific and late sign of AD.

Recently promising advances have been made in the detection of molecular and metabolic signatures of AD using MRI. In transgenic mouse models of AD, plaques have been demonstrated in vivo using dedicated high field MRI systems for animals. Based on the native contrast created by the metal compounds in amyloid plaques, these structures could be visualized without adding external contrast agents, using 3D gradient echo-weighted imaging technique (also known as susceptibility weighted imaging, SWI).

The aim of this research project is to develop image processing techniques that will allow the detection and quantification of iron deposition in the cortex in-vivo.

Approach

The envisioned approach involves the use of phase information and thus of phase unwrapping techniques. Subsequently, this complementary information will be combined with traditional magnitude data in a multi-channel framework for both segmentation and texture analysis purposes. Algorithms will be optimized on 7Tesla MRI data obtained from living AD patients and controls within the CTMM LeARN project.

Status

Ongoing.

Contact

For further information, please contact:
Dr. JR Milles, PhD
Division of Image Processing
Department of Radiology, 1-C2S
Leiden University Medical Center
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0)71 526 5342
Fax. +31 (0)71 526 6801
mailto: J.R.Milles@lumc.nl