Quantitative Automated Lesion Detection of Traumatic Brain Injury

2014-08-27 03:17:38 | BioPortfolio


The investigators propose to develop quantitative automated lesion detection (QALD) procedures to identify brain damage following traumatic brain injury more accurately than is possible with a normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. These procedures require about 1 hour of imaging in an MRI scanner. Subjects will also undergo about 2 hours of cognitive tests. The investigators will compare the results of the cognitive tests with those from MRI scanning to determine what brain regions are responsible for superior performance and for performance decrements.


Because of their non-focal nature, TBI-related brain lesions are difficult to detect and quantify with traditional MRI. In the current research program we propose to develop quantitative automated lesion detection (QALD) procedures to (1) clarify the nature and distribution of tissue damage following mild, moderate and severe TBI (2) improve the capability of detecting, quantifying, and localizing TBI brain damage in individual patients and (3) correlate quantitative measures of brain damage in individual TBI patients with neuropsychological deficits in attention, memory, and executive function.

QALD detects abnormal tissue parameters in the diseased brain through statistical comparisons with a normative database. Preliminary results show that QALD is capable of detecting highly significant abnormalities in the brains of TBI patients with normal clinical MRI scans. QALD will be further enhanced and tested with a larger database and including brain images acquired with four different imaging sequences (T1, T2, DTI and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery or FLAIR) from 100 control subjects. Data analysis will incorporate advanced cortical surface mapping techniques to quantify gray matter tissue parameters and thickness in 34 distinct cortical regions in each hemisphere. In addition, cortical fiber projections will be quantified with DTI and FLAIR analysis of white matter lying below the cortical surface. Subcortical fiber tracts critical for complex cognitive operations will be analyzed with voxel-based morphometry and with improved region of interest algorithms to define fiber tract boundaries. Tissue properties in critical subcortical structures (e.g., the hippocampus) will be quantified after automatic parcellation of these brain regions. We will also test the control subjects on a battery of neuropsychological tests (NPTs) and correlate variations in the size, myelination, and tissue properties of normal cortical and subcortical structures with cognitive performance. Then, we will gather identical imaging data in 99 TBI patients divided into three groups (mild, moderate and severe TBI) in order to characterize the average pattern of damage caused by TBIs of different severity. Next, we will quantify lesions in individual TBI patients and describe the variability of lesion patterns in the different severity groups. In parallel, we will develop further multimodal analysis techniques to combine statistical information from different imaging sequences to improve lesion-detection sensitivity to co-localized abnormalities evident with different imaging protocols. In addition, we will test patients with NPTs and analyze the relationship between brain damage, cognitive performance and self-assessments of outcome in order to improve the prognostic value of neuroradiological studies of TBI.

Study Design

Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Retrospective


Traumatic Brain Injury


VA Northern California HCS
United States




Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:17:38-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Prolonged unconsciousness from which the individual cannot be aroused, associated with traumatic injuries to the BRAIN. This may be defined as unconsciousness persisting for 6 hours or longer. Coma results from injury to both cerebral hemispheres or the RETICULAR FORMATION of the BRAIN STEM. Contributing mechanisms include DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY and BRAIN EDEMA. (From J Neurotrauma 1997 Oct;14(10):699-713)

A form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.

Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.

Traumatic injuries to the cranium where the integrity of the skull is not compromised and no bone fragments or other objects penetrate the skull and dura mater. This frequently results in mechanical injury being transmitted to intracranial structures which may produce traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, or cranial nerve injury. (From Rowland, Merritt's Textbook of Neurology, 9th ed, p417)

Bleeding within the brain as a result of penetrating and nonpenetrating CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA. Traumatically induced hemorrhages may occur in any area of the brain, including the CEREBRUM; BRAIN STEM (see BRAIN STEM HEMORRHAGE, TRAUMATIC); and CEREBELLUM.

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