UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

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Computer Sciences | Neoplasms | Radiology


BACKGROUND: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) relies on optimal scanning parameters to achieve maximal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and high contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between tissues resulting in high quality images. The optimization of such parameters is often laborious, time consuming, and user-dependent, making harmonization of imaging parameters a difficult task. In this report, we aim to develop and validate a computer simulation technique that can reliably provide "optimal in vivo scanning parameters" ready to be used for in vivo evaluation of disease models.

METHODS: A glioblastoma murine model was investigated using several MRI imaging methods. Such MRI methods underwent a simulated and an in vivo scanning parameter optimization in pre- and post-contrast conditions that involved the investigation of tumor, brain parenchyma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CNR values in addition to the time relaxation values of the related tissues. The CNR tissues information were analyzed and the derived scanning parameters compared in order to validate the simulated methodology as a reliable technique for "optimal in vivo scanning parameters" estimation.

RESULTS: The CNRs and the related scanning parameters were better correlated when spin-echo-based sequences were used rather than the gradient-echo-based sequences due to augmented inhomogeneity artifacts affecting the latter methods. "Optimal in vivo scanning parameters" were generated successfully by the simulations after initial scanning parameter adjustments that conformed to some of the parameters derived from the in vivo experiment.

CONCLUSION: Scanning parameter optimization using the computer simulation was shown to be a valid surrogate to the in vivo approach in a glioblastoma murine model yielding in a better delineation and differentiation of the tumor from the contralateral hemisphere. In addition to drastically reducing the time invested in choosing optimal scanning parameters when compared to an in vivo approach, this simulation program could also be used to harmonize MRI acquisition parameters across scanners from different vendors.


Magnetic resonance imaging, Mouse models, Cerebrospinal fluid, In vivo imaging, Glioblastoma multiforme, Simulation and modeling, Neuroimaging, Imaging techniques

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Copyright: © 2018 Protti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



PLoS One. 2018 Jul 23;13(7):e0200611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200611. eCollection 2018. Link to article on publisher's site

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PloS one

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.