Accounting for the Confound of Meninges in Segmenting Entorhinal and Perirhinal Cortices in T1-Weighted MRI
Quantification of medial temporal lobe (MTL) cortices, including entorhinal cortex (ERC) and perirhinal cortex (PRC), from in vivo MRI is desirable for studying the human memory system as well as in early diagnosis and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease. However, ERC and PRC are commonly over-segmented in T1-weighted (T1w) MRI because of the adjacent meninges that have similar intensity to gray matter in T1 contrast. This introduces errors in the quantification and could potentially confound imaging studies of ERC/PRC. In this paper, we propose to segment MTL cortices along with the adjacent meninges in T1w MRI using an established multi-atlas segmentation framework together with super-resolution technique. Experimental results comparing the proposed pipeline with existing pipelines support the notion that a large portion of meninges is segmented as gray matter by existing algorithms but not by our algorithm. Cross-validation experiments demonstrate promising segmentation accuracy. Further, agreement between the volume and thickness measures from the proposed pipeline and those from the manual segmentations increase dramatically as a result of accounting for the confound of meninges. Evaluated in the context of group discrimination between patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and normal controls, the proposed pipeline generates more biologically plausible results and improves the statistical power in discriminating groups in absolute terms comparing to other techniques using T1w MRI. Although the performance of the proposed pipeline is inferior to that using T2-weighted MRI, which is optimized to image MTL sub-structures, the proposed pipeline could still provide important utilities in analyzing many existing large datasets that only have T1w MRI available.
KeywordsGray Matter Medial Temporal Lobe Automatic Segmentation Manual Segmentation Segmentation Accuracy
This work was supported by NIH (grant numbers R01-AG040271, P30-AG010124, R01-AG037376, R01-EB017255).
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