Revealing Regional Associations of Cortical Folding Alterations with In Utero Ventricular Dilation Using Joint Spectral Embedding
Fetal ventriculomegaly (VM) is a condition with dilation of one or both lateral ventricles, and is diagnosed as an atrial diameter larger than 10 mm. Evidence of altered cortical folding associated with VM has been shown in the literature. However, existing studies use a holistic approach (i.e., ventricle as a whole) based on diagnosis or ventricular volume, thus failing to reveal the spatially-heterogeneous association patterns between cortex and ventricle. To address this issue, we develop a novel method to identify spatially fine-scaled association maps between cortical development and VM by leveraging vertex-wise correlations between the growth patterns of both ventricular and cortical surfaces in terms of area expansion and curvature information. Our approach comprises multiple steps. In the first step, we define a joint graph Laplacian matrix using cortex-to-ventricle correlations. Next, we propose a spectral embedding of the cortex-to-ventricle graph into a common underlying space where their joint growth patterns are projected. More importantly, in the joint ventricle-cortex space, the vertices of associated regions from both cortical and ventricular surfaces would lie close to each other. In the final step, we perform clustering in the joint embedded space to identify associated sub-regions between cortex and ventricle. Using a dataset of 25 healthy fetuses and 23 fetuses with isolated non-severe VM within the age range of 26–29 gestational weeks, our results show that the proposed approach is able to reveal clinically relevant and meaningful regional associations.
KeywordsJoint spectral embedding Ventriculomegaly Fetal Cortical folding
This research was partially funded by the “Fundació La Marató de TV3” (no. 20154031) and supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants (MH100217, MH107815, MH108914, and MH116225). It has also been funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI16/00861) integrados en el Plan Nacional de I+D+I y cofinanciados por el ISCIII-Subdirección General de Evaluación y el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) “Una manera de hacer Europa”, “la Caixa” Foundation, and The Cerebra Foundation for the Brain-Injured Child, Carmarthen, Wales.
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