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Volumetric/quantitative MRI 18 May 2015

Compared to CT, the superior tissue contrast provided by MRI allows accurate segmentation of grey matter structures relevant in the setting of dementia. Robust segmentation techniques exist that allow volumetric assessment of crucial structures like the hippocampus. Especially atlas-based segmentations have markedly improved the accuracy of segmentation, although computation times can be prohibitive and off-line reconstructions hamper their implementation into a clinical setting. Vascular white matter lesions can also be quantified, which is informative especially in patients with strong vascular loading, where visual rating scales show ceiling effects.

Beyond visible lesion and atrophy patterns, the quality of the (normal-appearing) brain tissue can be probed with quantitative MR techniques like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which may reveal widespread damage, often with a disease specific pattern (e.g. temporal lobe abnormalities in AD and frontal lobe involvement in FTD). Finally, quantitative perfusion information can be obtained using arterial spinal labelling (ASL) with similar diagnostic potential as FDG-PET.

Suggested reading:
• Barkhof F, Fox NC, Bastos-Leite AJ, Scheltens P. Neuroimaging in Dementia. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (2011)

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Duration:42 mins


Speaker info

Frederik Barkhof

Professor of Neuroradiology and Scientific Director of the Image Analysis Center, Vrije University Medical Center Frederik Barkhof received his MD from VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1988 and defended his PhD thesis in 1992, for which he received the Philips Prize for Radiology in 1992 and the Lucien Appel Prize for Neuroradiology in 1994. Since 2001 he serves as a full Professor in Neuroradiology at the department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the VU University Medical Center (VUmc). He is a senior staff member of the MS Center Amsterdam, and Senior Consultant of the Alzheimer Center, VUmc. He is the Scientific Director of the Image Analysis Centre (IAC), involved in analysis of multicentre drug trials. Professor Barkhof was the chairman of the Dutch Society of Neuroradiology and the MAGNIMS study group for many years. He serves on the Editorial boards of Radiology, Brain, Multiple Sclerosis Journal, Neuroradiology and Neurology. Professor Barkhof’s research interests focus on childhood white matter disease, on multiple sclerosis (spinal cord MRI, grey matter, atrophy, histopathology correlations), on ageing (white matter lesions and microbleeds) and dementia (hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer’s and functional MR). He (co)authored more than 750 papers referenced in PubMed, has an H-factor of 86 and is author of the books “Neuroimaging in Dementia” and “Clinical applications of functional brain MRI”. Cumulatively, he has received more than 10 million euro grant money from various national and international funding agencies and performed contract research for all major pharmaceutical companies with cumulative contract value of more than 15 million euros. More than 30 PhD students graduated under his supervision and 2 of them have subsequently attained a full professorship.