Cristian Coroian, BS, Awarded Research Project
"Retrospective review of Extra hippo- campal White Matter Abnormality in the Patients with Hippocampal Sclerosis, using Diffusion Tensor Imaging: Three Automated Post-Processing Methods."
Detection of white matter abnormality by visual inspection has played an instrumental role in identification and diagnosis of brain pathology. High resolution scanning and increased computation power provide an overwhelming quantity of data for analysis. Minute anatomical abnormalities detected are at a level not visually apparent. Therein lies the motivation for an algorithm that can detect these changes and distinguish the pathological change. To this end DTI has been utilized, improving detection of bilateral hippocampal pathology with significant diffusivity and fractional anisotropy parameter changes. Extra-hippocampal examination on DTI has also exposed other affected areas in the brain however; the methods used have not been conducive to performing entire brain volume analysis.
Under the guidance of Dr. Salamon and with the support of LONI, Cristian proposes to employ computer algorithms to automate the process of examination of the entire brain on a voxel by voxel basis and identifi- cation of pathological white matter. The tuning of these algorithms will be done based on normal, pre-surgical symptomatic with pathology, post-surgical symptomatic, and post-surgical asymptomatic patients. Once the proof of concept has been developed, this algorithm can be used in new patients in bringing attention to areas of the brain as a pre-surgical planning tool.
Jennifer Kung, BS, Awarded Research Project
"Anatomopathological Correlation of Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Epilepsy Patients with Focal Cortical Dysplasia"
Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is the most common cause of pediatric intractable epilepsy. For the 30% of epilepsy patients who cannot be treated with medication, surgical resection is an effective therapy. However, subtle forms of cortical dysplasia may be difficult to define on MRI. Prior studies have suggested that Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) may improve recognition of FCD, but the correspondence between imaging anatomy and pathology remains unclear.
The purpose of this study is to elucidate the relationship between DTI results and the underlying histopathology. The imaging parameters Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) and Fractional Anisotropy (FA) will be compared with pathology results from post-surgical patients. Further insight into this relationship should enhance the utility of DTI in directing the management of epilepsy patients.