Detailed T1-Weighted Profiles from the Human Cortex Measured in Vivo at 3 Tesla MRI

Bart Ferguson*, Natalia Petridou, Alessio Fracasso, Martijn P. van den Heuvel, Rachel M. Brouwer, Hilleke E. Hulshoff Pol, René S. Kahn, René C.W. Mandl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Studies into cortical thickness in psychiatric diseases based on T1-weighted MRI frequently report on aberrations in the cerebral cortex. Due to limitations in image resolution for studies conducted at conventional MRI field strengths (e.g. 3 Tesla (T)) this information cannot be used to establish which of the cortical layers may be implicated. Here we propose a new analysis method that computes one high-resolution average cortical profile per brain region extracting myeloarchitectural information from T1-weighted MRI scans that are routinely acquired at a conventional field strength. To assess this new method, we acquired standard T1-weighted scans at 3 T and compared them with state-of-the-art ultra-high resolution T1-weighted scans optimised for intracortical myelin contrast acquired at 7 T. Average cortical profiles were computed for seven different brain regions. Besides a qualitative comparison between the 3 T scans, 7 T scans, and results from literature, we tested if the results from dynamic time warping-based clustering are similar for the cortical profiles computed from 7 T and 3 T data. In addition, we quantitatively compared cortical profiles computed for V1, V2 and V7 for both 7 T and 3 T data using a priori information on their relative myelin concentration. Although qualitative comparisons show that at an individual level average profiles computed for 7 T have more pronounced features than 3 T profiles the results from the quantitative analyses suggest that average cortical profiles computed from T1-weighted scans acquired at 3 T indeed contain myeloarchitectural information similar to profiles computed from the scans acquired at 7 T. The proposed method therefore provides a step forward to study cortical myeloarchitecture in vivo at conventional magnetic field strength both in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages16
JournalNeuroinformatics
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • 3 Tesla
  • 7 Tesla
  • Automatic segmentation
  • Cortical profiles
  • Laminar structure
  • Myeloarchitectonics

Cite this

Ferguson, B., Petridou, N., Fracasso, A., van den Heuvel, M. P., Brouwer, R. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., ... Mandl, R. C. W. (2018). Detailed T1-Weighted Profiles from the Human Cortex Measured in Vivo at 3 Tesla MRI. Neuroinformatics, 16(2), 181-196. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12021-018-9356-2