LesionQuant Performance Evaluation: Accuracy and Reproducibility
Quantitative measurements of lesion volume and lesion distribution have significant value for clinicians evaluating disease progression. Subjective measurements based on a clinician’s visual inspection and manual lesion segmentation are often vulnerable to inter-and intra-rater variability, resulting in low reproducibility. Thus, objective, automated lesion segmentation tools have been developed [1-3] to overcome these problems. Since the appearance of lesions may vary across different MRI protocols, incorporating multiple MRI studies provides more information to accurately delineate lesions.
The Importance of Quantitative Analysis for Brain MRI
For over 20 years, volumetric MR imaging (vMRI) technology has been available in research and clinical environments.Initially, radiology centers developed and used their own imaging parameters and manually evaluated the resulting images. This made clinical application subjective, inconsistent from patient to patient and from scanner to scanner,and all but impractical. The introduction of large-scale multi-institutional research studies, such as ADNI (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) in 2004, initiated the streamlining and standardizing of acquisition protocols. In 2006, CorTechs Labs introduced NeuroQuant, the first FDA cleared automated segmentation software, which provided consistent, operator independent measurements of brain structure volumes. Together, these factors permitted clinical users to easily in corporate volumetric MRI technology into their clinical practice.
The unique and innovative dynamic (covariate modulated) atlas is a core functionality of the latest version of NeuroQuant®. This multifactorial processing approach allows the use of the probabilistic atlas at age ranges where anatomical changes in the brain happen more rapidly such as in children and young adults. This results in a more accurate and consistent brain segmentation in all subjects independent of age.
A key component of NeuroQuant is the normative database, which provides NeuroQuant the capability to compare an individual’s brain structure volume measurements to a healthy population. This allows NeuroQuant to deliver a precise indication of where that individual’s brain structure volume lies within an age-and gender-based reference chart, which aids physicians in their assessment of neurodegenerative conditions. This paper provides information on how CorTechs Labs’ normative database was created for NeuroQuant.