Publications

2021
Fan Zhang, Anna Breger, Kang Ik Kevin Cho, Lipeng Ning, Carl-Fredrik Westin, Lauren J O'Donnell, and Ofer Pasternak. 6/2021. “Deep Learning Based Segmentation of Brain Tissue from Diffusion MRI.” Neuroimage, 233, Pp. 117934.Abstract
Segmentation of brain tissue types from diffusion MRI (dMRI) is an important task, required for quantification of brain microstructure and for improving tractography. Current dMRI segmentation is mostly based on anatomical MRI (e.g., T1- and T2-weighted) segmentation that is registered to the dMRI space. However, such inter-modality registration is challenging due to more image distortions and lower image resolution in dMRI as compared with anatomical MRI. In this study, we present a deep learning method for diffusion MRI segmentation, which we refer to as DDSeg. Our proposed method learns tissue segmentation from high-quality imaging data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP), where registration of anatomical MRI to dMRI is more precise. The method is then able to predict a tissue segmentation directly from new dMRI data, including data collected with different acquisition protocols, without requiring anatomical data and inter-modality registration. We train a convolutional neural network (CNN) to learn a tissue segmentation model using a novel augmented target loss function designed to improve accuracy in regions of tissue boundary. To further improve accuracy, our method adds diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) parameters that characterize non-Gaussian water molecule diffusion to the conventional diffusion tensor imaging parameters. The DKI parameters are calculated from the recently proposed mean-kurtosis-curve method that corrects implausible DKI parameter values and provides additional features that discriminate between tissue types. We demonstrate high tissue segmentation accuracy on HCP data, and also when applying the HCP-trained model on dMRI data from other acquisitions with lower resolution and fewer gradient directions.
Jianzhong He, Fan Zhang, Guoqiang Xie, Shun Yao, Yuanjing Feng, Dhiego CA Bastos, Yogesh Rathi, Nikos Makris, Ron Kikinis, Alexandra J Golby, and Lauren J O'Donnell. 5/2021. “Comparison of Multiple Tractography Methods for Reconstruction of the Retinogeniculate Visual Pathway Using Diffusion MRI.” Hum Brain Mapp.Abstract
The retinogeniculate visual pathway (RGVP) conveys visual information from the retina to the lateral geniculate nucleus. The RGVP has four subdivisions, including two decussating and two nondecussating pathways that cannot be identified on conventional structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Diffusion MRI tractography has the potential to trace these subdivisions and is increasingly used to study the RGVP. However, it is not yet known which fiber tracking strategy is most suitable for RGVP reconstruction. In this study, four tractography methods are compared, including constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD) based probabilistic (iFOD1) and deterministic (SD-Stream) methods, and multi-fiber (UKF-2T) and single-fiber (UKF-1T) unscented Kalman filter (UKF) methods. Experiments use diffusion MRI data from 57 subjects in the Human Connectome Project. The RGVP is identified using regions of interest created by two clinical experts. Quantitative anatomical measurements and expert anatomical judgment are used to assess the advantages and limitations of the four tractography methods. Overall, we conclude that UKF-2T and iFOD1 produce the best RGVP reconstruction results. The iFOD1 method can better quantitatively estimate the percentage of decussating fibers, while the UKF-2T method produces reconstructed RGVPs that are judged to better correspond to the known anatomy and have the highest spatial overlap across subjects. Overall, we find that it is challenging for current tractography methods to both accurately track RGVP fibers that correspond to known anatomy and produce an approximately correct percentage of decussating fibers. We suggest that future algorithm development for RGVP tractography should take consideration of both of these two points.
Zhe Xu, Jie Luo, Jiangpeng Yan, Xiu Li, and Jagadeesan Jayender. 5/2021. “F3RNet: Full-resolution Residual Registration Network for Deformable Image Registration.” Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg.Abstract
PURPOSE: Deformable image registration (DIR) is essential for many image-guided therapies. Recently, deep learning approaches have gained substantial popularity and success in DIR. Most deep learning approaches use the so-called mono-stream high-to-low, low-to-high network structure and can achieve satisfactory overall registration results. However, accurate alignments for some severely deformed local regions, which are crucial for pinpointing surgical targets, are often overlooked. Consequently, these approaches are not sensitive to some hard-to-align regions, e.g., intra-patient registration of deformed liver lobes. METHODS: We propose a novel unsupervised registration network, namely full-resolution residual registration network (F3RNet), for deformable registration of severely deformed organs. The proposed method combines two parallel processing streams in a residual learning fashion. One stream takes advantage of the full-resolution information that facilitates accurate voxel-level registration. The other stream learns the deep multi-scale residual representations to obtain robust recognition. We also factorize the 3D convolution to reduce the training parameters and enhance network efficiency. RESULTS: We validate the proposed method on a clinically acquired intra-patient abdominal CT-MRI dataset and a public inspiratory and expiratory thorax CT dataset. Experiments on both multimodal and unimodal registration demonstrate promising results compared to state-of-the-art approaches. CONCLUSION: By combining the high-resolution information and multi-scale representations in a highly interactive residual learning fashion, the proposed F3RNet can achieve accurate overall and local registration. The run time for registering a pair of images is less than 3 s using a GPU. In future works, we will investigate how to cost-effectively process high-resolution information and fuse multi-scale representations.
Alireza Sedghi, Lauren J O'Donnell, Tina Kapur, Erik Learned-Miller, Parvin Mousavi, and William M Wells. 4/2021. “Image Registration: Maximum Likelihood, Minimum Entropy and Deep Learning.” Med Image Anal, 69, Pp. 101939.Abstract
In this work, we propose a theoretical framework based on maximum profile likelihood for pairwise and groupwise registration. By an asymptotic analysis, we demonstrate that maximum profile likelihood registration minimizes an upper bound on the joint entropy of the distribution that generates the joint image data. Further, we derive the congealing method for groupwise registration by optimizing the profile likelihood in closed form, and using coordinate ascent, or iterative model refinement. We also describe a method for feature based registration in the same framework and demonstrate it on groupwise tractographic registration. In the second part of the article, we propose an approach to deep metric registration that implements maximum likelihood registration using deep discriminative classifiers. We show further that this approach can be used for maximum profile likelihood registration to discharge the need for well-registered training data, using iterative model refinement. We demonstrate that the method succeeds on a challenging registration problem where the standard mutual information approach does not perform well.
Clare MC Tempany-Afdhal. 3/2021. “Focal Treatment of Prostate Cancer: MRI Helps Guide the Way Forward.” Editorial. Radiology, 298, 3, Pp. 704-6.
Pedro Moreira, John Grimble, Nicusor Iftimia, Camden P Bay, Kemal Tuncali, Jesung Park, and Junichi Tokuda. 3/2021. “In vivo evaluation of angulated needle-guide template for MRI-guided transperineal prostate biopsy.” Med Phys.Abstract
PURPOSE: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided transperineal prostate biopsy has been practiced since the early 2000s. The technique often suffers from targeting error due to deviation of the needle as a result of physical interaction between the needle and inhomogeneous tissues. Existing needle guide devices, such as a grid template, do not allow choosing an alternative insertion path to mitigate the deviation because of their limited degree-of-freedom (DoF). This study evaluates how an angulated needle insertion path can reduce needle deviation and improve needle placement accuracy. METHODS: We extended a robotic needle-guidance device (Smart Template) for in-bore MRI-guided transperineal prostate biopsy. The new Smart Template has a 4-DoF needle-guiding mechanism allowing a translational range of motion of 65 and 58 mm along the vertical and horizontal axis, and a needle rotational motion around the vertical and horizontal axis and a vertical rotational range of , respectively. We defined a path planning strategy, which chooses between straight and angulated insertion paths depending on the anatomical structures on the potential insertion path. We performed (a) a set of experiments to evaluate the device positioning accuracy outside the MR-bore, and (b) an in vivo experiment to evaluate the improvement of targeting accuracy combining straight and angulated insertions in animal models (swine, ). RESULTS: We analyzed 46 in vivo insertions using either straight or angulated insertions paths. The experiment showed that the proposed strategy of selecting straight or angulated insertions based on the subject's anatomy outperformed the conventional approach of just straight insertions in terms of targeting accuracy (2.4 mm [1.3-3.7] vs 3.9 mm [2.4-5.0] {Median ); p = 0.041 after the bias correction). CONCLUSION: The in vivo experiment successfully demonstrated that an angulated needle insertion path could improve needle placement accuracy with a path planning strategy that takes account of the subject-specific anatomical structures.
Jennifer Nitsch, Jordan Sack, Michael W Halle, Jan H Moltz, April Wall, Anna E Rutherford, Ron Kikinis, and Hans Meine. 3/2021. “MRI-Based Radiomic Feature Analysis of End-Stage Liver Disease for Severity Stratification.” Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg, 16, 3, Pp. 457-66.Abstract
PURPOSE: We aimed to develop a predictive model of disease severity for cirrhosis using MRI-derived radiomic features of the liver and spleen and compared it to the existing disease severity metrics of MELD score and clinical decompensation. The MELD score is compiled solely by blood parameters, and so far, it was not investigated if extracted image-based features have the potential to reflect severity to potentially complement the calculated score. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of eligible patients with cirrhosis ([Formula: see text]) who underwent a contrast-enhanced MR screening protocol for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening at a tertiary academic center from 2015 to 2018. Radiomic feature analyses were used to train four prediction models for assessing the patient's condition at time of scan: MELD score, MELD score [Formula: see text] 9 (median score of the cohort), MELD score [Formula: see text] 15 (the inflection between the risk and benefit of transplant), and clinical decompensation. Liver and spleen segmentations were used for feature extraction, followed by cross-validated random forest classification. RESULTS: Radiomic features of the liver and spleen were most predictive of clinical decompensation (AUC 0.84), which the MELD score could predict with an AUC of 0.78. Using liver or spleen features alone had slightly lower discrimination ability (AUC of 0.82 for liver and AUC of 0.78 for spleen features only), although this was not statistically significant on our cohort. When radiomic prediction models were trained to predict continuous MELD scores, there was poor correlation. When stratifying risk by splitting our cohort at the median MELD 9 or at MELD 15, our models achieved AUCs of 0.78 or 0.66, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that MRI-based radiomic features of the liver and spleen have the potential to predict the severity of liver cirrhosis, using decompensation or MELD status as imperfect surrogate measures for disease severity.
Thomas Noh, Martina Mustroph, and Alexandra J Golby. 1/2021. “Intraoperative Imaging for High-Grade Glioma Surgery.” Neurosurg Clin N Am, 32, 1, Pp. 47-54.Abstract
This article discusses intraoperative imaging techniques used during high-grade glioma surgery. Gliomas can be difficult to differentiate from surrounding tissue during surgery. Intraoperative imaging helps to alleviate problems encountered during glioma surgery, such as brain shift and residual tumor. There are a variety of modalities available all of which aim to give the surgeon more information, address brain shift, identify residual tumor, and increase the extent of surgical resection. The article starts with a brief introduction followed by a review of with the latest advances in intraoperative ultrasound, intraoperative MRI, and intraoperative computed tomography.
2020
Alireza Mehrtash, William M Wells, Clare M Tempany, Purang Abolmaesumi, and Tina Kapur. 12/2020. “Confidence Calibration and Predictive Uncertainty Estimation for Deep Medical Image Segmentation.” IEEE Trans Med Imaging, 39, 12, Pp. 3868-78.Abstract
Fully convolutional neural networks (FCNs), and in particular U-Nets, have achieved state-of-the-art results in semantic segmentation for numerous medical imaging applications. Moreover, batch normalization and Dice loss have been used successfully to stabilize and accelerate training. However, these networks are poorly calibrated i.e. they tend to produce overconfident predictions for both correct and erroneous classifications, making them unreliable and hard to interpret. In this paper, we study predictive uncertainty estimation in FCNs for medical image segmentation. We make the following contributions: 1) We systematically compare cross-entropy loss with Dice loss in terms of segmentation quality and uncertainty estimation of FCNs; 2)We propose model ensembling for confidence calibration of the FCNs trained with batch normalization and Dice loss; 3) We assess the ability of calibrated FCNs to predict segmentation quality of structures and detect out-of-distribution test examples. We conduct extensive experiments across three medical image segmentation applications of the brain, the heart, and the prostate to evaluate our contributions. The results of this study offer considerable insight into the predictive uncertainty estimation and out-of-distribution detection in medical image segmentation and provide practical recipes for confidence calibration. Moreover, we consistently demonstrate that model ensembling improves confidence calibration.
Luca Canalini, Jan Klein, Dorothea Miller, and Ron Kikinis. 12/2020. “Enhanced Registration of Ultrasound Volumes by Segmentation of Resection Cavity in Neurosurgical Procedures.” Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg, 15, 12, Pp. 1963-74.Abstract
PURPOSE: Neurosurgeons can have a better understanding of surgical procedures by comparing ultrasound images obtained at different phases of the tumor resection. However, establishing a direct mapping between subsequent acquisitions is challenging due to the anatomical changes happening during surgery. We propose here a method to improve the registration of ultrasound volumes, by excluding the resection cavity from the registration process. METHODS: The first step of our approach includes the automatic segmentation of the resection cavities in ultrasound volumes, acquired during and after resection. We used a convolution neural network inspired by the 3D U-Net. Then, subsequent ultrasound volumes are registered by excluding the contribution of resection cavity. RESULTS: Regarding the segmentation of the resection cavity, the proposed method achieved a mean DICE index of 0.84 on 27 volumes. Concerning the registration of the subsequent ultrasound acquisitions, we reduced the mTRE of the volumes acquired before and during resection from 3.49 to 1.22 mm. For the set of volumes acquired before and after removal, the mTRE improved from 3.55 to 1.21 mm. CONCLUSIONS: We proposed an innovative registration algorithm to compensate the brain shift affecting ultrasound volumes obtained at subsequent phases of neurosurgical procedures. To the best of our knowledge, our method is the first to exclude automatically segmented resection cavities in the registration of ultrasound volumes in neurosurgery.
Shenyan Zong, Guofeng Shen, Chang-Sheng Mei, and Bruno Madore. 12/2020. “Improved PRF-Based MR Thermometry Using k-Space Energy Spectrum Analysis.” Magn Reson Med, 84, 6, Pp. 3325-32.Abstract
PURPOSE: Proton resonance frequency (PRF) thermometry encodes information in the phase of MRI signals. A multiplicative factor converts phase changes into temperature changes, and this factor includes the TE. However, phase variations caused by B and/or B inhomogeneities can effectively change TE in ways that vary from pixel to pixel. This work presents how spatial phase variations affect temperature maps and how to correct for corresponding errors. METHODS: A method called "k-space energy spectrum analysis" was used to map regions in the object domain to regions in the k-space domain. Focused ultrasound heating experiments were performed in tissue-mimicking gel phantoms under two scenarios: with and without proper shimming. The second scenario, with deliberately de-adjusted shimming, was meant to emulate B inhomogeneities in a controlled manner. The TE errors were mapped and compensated for using k-space energy spectrum analysis, and corrected results were compared with reference results. Furthermore, a volunteer was recruited to help evaluate the magnitude of the errors being corrected. RESULTS: The in vivo abdominal results showed that the TE and heating errors being corrected can readily exceed 10%. In phantom results, a linear regression between reference and corrected temperatures results provided a slope of 0.971 and R of 0.9964. Analysis based on the Bland-Altman method provided a bias of -0.0977°C and 95% limits of agreement that were 0.75°C apart. CONCLUSION: Spatially varying TE errors, such as caused by B and/or B inhomogeneities, can be detected and corrected using the k-space energy spectrum analysis method, for increased accuracy in proton resonance frequency thermometry.
Thomas C Lee, Jeffrey P Guenette, Ziev B Moses, Jong Woo Lee, Donald J Annino, and John H Chi. 10/2020. “MRI and CT Guided Cryoablation for Intracranial Extension of Malignancies along the Trigeminal Nerve.” J Neurol Surg B Skull Base, 81, 5, Pp. 511-4.Abstract
 To describe the technical aspects and early clinical outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided tumor cryoablation along the intracranial trigeminal nerve. This study is a retrospective case review. Large academic tertiary care hospital. Patients who underwent MRI-guided cryoablation of perineural tumor along the intracranial trigeminal nerve. Technical success, pain relief, local control. Percutaneous MRI-guided cryoablation of tumor spread along the intracranial portion of the trigeminal nerve was performed in two patients without complication, with subsequent pain relief, and with local control in the patient with follow-up imaging. Percutaneous MRI-guided cryoablation is a feasible treatment option for malignancies tracking intracranially along the trigeminal nerve.
Fiona M Fennessy, Andriy Fedorov, Mark G Vangel, Robert V. Mulkern, Maria Tretiakova, Rosina T Lis, Clare Tempany, and Mary-Ellen Taplin. 10/2020. “Multiparametric MRI as a Biomarker of Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer-A Pilot Study.” Acad Radiol, 27, 10, Pp. 1432-9.Abstract
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: To explore a role for multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) as a biomarker of response to neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer (PCa). MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective study was approved by the institutional review board and was HIPAA compliant. Eight patients with localized PCa had a baseline mpMRI, repeated after 6-months of ADT, followed by prostatectomy. mpMRI indices were extracted from tumor and normal regions of interest (TROI/NROI). Residual cancer burden (RCB) was measured on mpMRI and on the prostatectomy specimen. Paired t-tests compared TROI/NROI mpMRI indices and pre/post-treatment TROI mpMRI indices. Spearman's rank tested for correlations between MRI/pathology-based RCB, and between pathological RCB and mpMRI indices. RESULTS: At baseline, TROI apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was lower and dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) metrics were higher, compared to NROI (ADC: 806 ± 137 × 10 vs. 1277 ± 213 × 10 mm/sec, p = 0.0005; K: 0.346 ± 0.16 vs. 0.144 ± 0.06 min, p = 0.002; AUC: 0.213 ± 0.08 vs. 0.11 ± 0.03, p = 0.002). Post-treatment, there was no change in TROI ADC, but a decrease in TROI K (0.346 ± 0.16 to 0.188 ± 0.08 min; p = 0.02) and AUC (0.213 ± 0.08 to 0.13 ± 0.06; p = 0.02). Tumor volume decreased with ADT. There was no difference between mpMRI-based and pathology-based RCB, which positively correlated (⍴ = 0.74-0.81, p < 0.05). Pathology-based RCB positively correlated with post-treatment DCE metrics (⍴ = 0.76-0.70, p < 0.05) and negatively with ADC (⍴ = -0.79, p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Given the heterogeneity of PCa, an individualized approach to ADT may maximize potential benefit. This pilot study suggests that mpMRI may serve as a biomarker of ADT response and as a surrogate for RCB at prostatectomy.
Richard Jarrett Rushmore, Peter Wilson-Braun, George Papadimitriou, Isaac Ng, Yogesh Rathi, Fan Zhang, Lauren Jean O'Donnell, Marek Kubicki, Sylvain Bouix, Edward Yeterian, Jean-Jacques Lemaire, Evan Calabrese, Allan G Johnson, Ron Kikinis, and Nikos Makris. 9/2020. “3D Exploration of the Brainstem in 50-Micron Resolution MRI.” Front Neuroanat, 14, Pp. 40.Abstract
The brainstem, a structure of vital importance in mammals, is currently becoming a principal focus in cognitive, affective, and clinical neuroscience. Midbrain, pontine and medullary structures serve as the conduit for signals between the forebrain and spinal cord, are the epicenter of cranial nerve-circuits and systems, and subserve such integrative functions as consciousness, emotional processing, pain, and motivation. In this study, we parcellated the nuclear masses and the principal fiber pathways that were visible in a high-resolution T2-weighted MRI dataset of 50-micron isotropic voxels of a postmortem human brainstem. Based on this analysis, we generated a detailed map of the human brainstem. To assess the validity of our maps, we compared our observations with histological maps of traditional human brainstem atlases. Given the unique capability of MRI-based morphometric analysis in generating and preserving the morphology of 3D objects from individual 2D sections, we reconstructed the motor, sensory and integrative neural systems of the brainstem and rendered them in 3D representations. We anticipate the utilization of these maps by the neuroimaging community for applications in basic neuroscience as well as in neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery, due to their versatile computational nature in 2D and 3D representations in a publicly available capacity.
Nityanand Miskin, Prashin Unadkat, Michael E Carlton, Alexandra J Golby, Geoffrey S Young, and Raymond Y Huang. 8/2020. “Frequency and Evolution of New Postoperative Enhancement on 3 Tesla Intraoperative and Early Postoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Neurosurgery, 87, 2, Pp. 238-46.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IO-MRI) provides real-time assessment of extent of resection of brain tumor. Development of new enhancement during IO-MRI can confound interpretation of residual enhancing tumor, although the incidence of this finding is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of new enhancement during brain tumor resection on intraoperative 3 Tesla (3T) MRI. To optimize the postoperative imaging window after brain tumor resection using 1.5 and 3T MRI. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 64 IO-MRI performed for patients with enhancing brain lesions referred for biopsy or resection as well as a subset with an early postoperative MRI (EP-MRI) within 72 h of surgery (N = 42), and a subset with a late postoperative MRI (LP-MRI) performed between 120 h and 8 wk postsurgery (N = 34). Three radiologists assessed for new enhancement on IO-MRI, and change in enhancement on available EP-MRI and LP-MRI. Consensus was determined by majority response. Inter-rater agreement was assessed using percentage agreement. RESULTS: A total of 10 out of 64 (16%) of the IO-MRI demonstrated new enhancement. Seven of 10 patients with available EP-MRI demonstrated decreased/resolved enhancement. One out of 42 (2%) of the EP-MRI demonstrated new enhancement, which decreased on LP-MRI. Agreement was 74% for the assessment of new enhancement on IO-MRI and 81% for the assessment of new enhancement on the EP-MRI. CONCLUSION: New enhancement occurs in intraoperative 3T MRI in 16% of patients after brain tumor resection, which decreases or resolves on subsequent MRI within 72 h of surgery. Our findings indicate the opportunity for further study to optimize the postoperative imaging window.
Pedro Moreira, Kemal Tuncali, Clare M Tempany, and Junichi Tokuda. 8/2020. “The Impact of Placement Errors on the Tumor Coverage in MRI-Guided Focal Cryoablation of Prostate Cancer.” Acad Radiol, S1076, Pp. 6332(20)30429-3.Abstract
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: There have been multiple investigations defining and reporting the effectiveness of focal cryoablation as a treatment option for organ-confined prostate cancer. However, the impact of cryo-needle/probe placement accuracy within the tumor and gland has not been extensively studied. We analyzed how variations in the placement of the cryo-needles, specifically errors leading to incomplete ablation, may affect prostate cancer's resulting cryoablation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a study based on isothermal models using Monte Carlo simulations to analyze the impact of needle placement errors on tumor coverage and the probability of positive ablation margin. We modeled the placement error as a Gaussian noise on the cryo-needle position. The analysis used retrospective MRI data of 15 patients with biopsy-proven, unifocal, and MRI visible prostate cancer to calculate the impact of placement error on the volume of the tumor encompassed by the -40°C and -20°C isotherms using one to four cryo-needles. RESULTS: When the standard deviation of the placement error reached 3 mm, the tumor coverage was still above 97% with the -20°C isotherm, and above 81% with the -40°C isotherm using two cryo-needles or more. The probability of positive margin was significantly lower considering the -20°C isotherm (0.04 for three needles) than using the -40°C isotherm (0.66 for three needles). CONCLUSION: The results indicated that accurate cryo-needle placement is essential for the success of focal cryoablation of prostate cancer. The analysis shows that an admissible targeting error depends on the lethal temperature considered and the number of cryo-needles used.
Haejin Yoon, Jessica B Spinelli, Elma Zaganjor, Samantha J Wong, Natalie J German, Elizabeth C Randall, Afsah Dean, Allen Clermont, Joao A Paulo, Daniel Garcia, Hao Li, Olivia Rombold, Nathalie YR Agar, Laurie J Goodyear, Reuben J Shaw, Steven P Gygi, Johan Auwerx, and Marcia C Haigis. 8/2020. “PHD3 Loss Promotes Exercise Capacity and Fat Oxidation in Skeletal Muscle.” Cell Metab, 32, 2, Pp. 215-228.e7.Abstract
Rapid alterations in cellular metabolism allow tissues to maintain homeostasis during changes in energy availability. The central metabolic regulator acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 (ACC2) is robustly phosphorylated during cellular energy stress by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) to relieve its suppression of fat oxidation. While ACC2 can also be hydroxylated by prolyl hydroxylase 3 (PHD3), the physiological consequence thereof is poorly understood. We find that ACC2 phosphorylation and hydroxylation occur in an inverse fashion. ACC2 hydroxylation occurs in conditions of high energy and represses fatty acid oxidation. PHD3-null mice demonstrate loss of ACC2 hydroxylation in heart and skeletal muscle and display elevated fatty acid oxidation. Whole body or skeletal muscle-specific PHD3 loss enhances exercise capacity during an endurance exercise challenge. In sum, these data identify an unexpected link between AMPK and PHD3, and a role for PHD3 in acute exercise endurance capacity and skeletal muscle metabolism.
Adomas Bunevicius, Nathan Judson McDannold, and Alexandra J Golby. 7/2020. “Focused Ultrasound Strategies for Brain Tumor Therapy.” Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown), 19, 1, Pp. 9-18.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A key challenge in the medical treatment of brain tumors is the limited penetration of most chemotherapeutic agents across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the tumor and the infiltrative margin around the tumor. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a promising tool to enhance the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents into brain tumors. OBJECTIVE: To review the mechanism of FUS, preclinical evidence, and clinical studies that used low-frequency FUS for a BBB opening in gliomas. METHODS: Literature review. RESULTS: The potential of externally delivered low-intensity ultrasound for a temporally and spatially precise and predictable disruption of the BBB has been investigated for over a decade, yielding extensive preclinical literature demonstrating that FUS can disrupt the BBB in a spatially targeted and temporally reversible manner. Studies in animal models documented that FUS enhanced the delivery of numerous chemotherapeutic and investigational agents across the BBB and into brain tumors, including temozolomide, bevacizumab, 1,3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea, doxorubicin, viral vectors, and cells. Chemotherapeutic interventions combined with FUS slowed tumor progression and improved animal survival. Recent advances of MRgFUS systems allow precise, temporally and spatially controllable, and safe transcranial delivery of ultrasound energy. Initial clinical evidence in glioma patients has shown the efficacy of MRgFUS in disrupting the BBB, as demonstrated by an enhanced gadolinium penetration. CONCLUSION: Thus far, a temporary disruption of the BBB followed by the administration of chemotherapy has been both feasible and safe. Further studies are needed to determine the actual drug delivery, including the drug distribution at a tissue-level scale, as well as effects on tumor growth and patient prognosis.
James J Levitt, Paul G Nestor, Marek Kubicki, Amanda E Lyall, Fan Zhang, Tammy Riklin-Raviv, Lauren J O Donnell, Robert W McCarley, Martha E Shenton, and Yogesh Rathi. 7/2020. “Miswiring of Frontostriatal Projections in Schizophrenia.” Schizophr Bull, 8, 46, Pp. 990-8.Abstract
We investigated brain wiring in chronic schizophrenia and healthy controls in frontostriatal circuits using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography in a novel way. We extracted diffusion streamlines in 27 chronic schizophrenia and 26 healthy controls connecting 4 frontal subregions to the striatum. We labeled the projection zone striatal surface voxels into 2 subtypes: dominant-input from a single cortical subregion, and, functionally integrative, with mixed-input from diverse cortical subregions. We showed: 1) a group difference for total striatal surface voxel number (P = .045) driven by fewer mixed-input voxels in the left (P  = .007), but not right, hemisphere; 2) a group by hemisphere interaction for the ratio quotient between voxel subtypes (P  = .04) with a left (P  = .006), but not right, hemisphere increase in schizophrenia, also reflecting fewer mixed-input voxels; and 3) fewer mixed-input voxel counts in schizophrenia (P  = .045) driven by differences in left hemisphere limbic (P  = .007) and associative (P  = .01), but not sensorimotor, striatum. These results demonstrate a less integrative pattern of frontostriatal structural connectivity in chronic schizophrenia. A diminished integrative pattern yields a less complex input pattern to the striatum from the cortex with less circuit integration at the level of the striatum. Further, as brain wiring occurs during early development, aberrant brain wiring could serve as a developmental biomarker for schizophrenia.
Fan Zhang, Guoqiang Xie, Laura Leung, Michael A Mooney, Lorenz Epprecht, Isaiah Norton, Yogesh Rathi, Ron Kikinis, Ossama Al-Mefty, Nikos Makris, Alexandra J Golby, and Lauren J O'Donnell. 6/2020. “Creation of a Novel Trigeminal Tractography Atlas for Automated Trigeminal Nerve Identification.” Neuroimage, 220, Pp. 117063.Abstract
Diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography has been successfully used to study the trigeminal nerves (TGNs) in many clinical and research applications. Currently, identification of the TGN in tractography data requires expert nerve selection using manually drawn regions of interest (ROIs), which is prone to inter-observer variability, time-consuming and carries high clinical and labor costs. To overcome these issues, we propose to create a novel anatomically curated TGN tractography atlas that enables automated identification of the TGN from dMRI tractography. In this paper, we first illustrate the creation of a trigeminal tractography atlas. Leveraging a well-established computational pipeline and expert neuroanatomical knowledge, we generate a data-driven TGN fiber clustering atlas using tractography data from 50 subjects from the Human Connectome Project. Then, we demonstrate the application of the proposed atlas for automated TGN identification in new subjects, without relying on expert ROI placement. Quantitative and visual experiments are performed with comparison to expert TGN identification using dMRI data from two different acquisition sites. We show highly comparable results between the automatically and manually identified TGNs in terms of spatial overlap and visualization, while our proposed method has several advantages. First, our method performs automated TGN identification, and thus it provides an efficient tool to reduce expert labor costs and inter-operator bias relative to expert manual selection. Second, our method is robust to potential imaging artifacts and/or noise that can prevent successful manual ROI placement for TGN selection and hence yields a higher successful TGN identification rate.

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