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Influence of the segmentation on the characterization of cerebral networks of structural damage for patients with disorders of consciousness
Author(s): Darwin Martínez; Jamuna J. Mahalingam; Andrea Soddu; Hugo Franco; Natasha Lepore; Steven Laureys; Francisco Gómez
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Paper Abstract

Disorders of consciousness (DOC) are a consequence of a variety of severe brain injuries. DOC commonly results in anatomical brain modifications, which can affect cortical and sub-cortical brain structures. Postmortem studies suggest that severity of brain damage correlates with level of impairment in DOC. In-vivo studies in neuroimaging mainly focus in alterations on single structures. Recent evidence suggests that rather than one, multiple brain regions can be simultaneously affected by this condition. In other words, DOC may be linked to an underlying cerebral network of structural damage. Recently, geometrical spatial relationships among key sub-cortical brain regions, such as left and right thalamus and brain stem, have been used for the characterization of this network. This approach is strongly supported on automatic segmentation processes, which aim to extract regions of interests without human intervention. Nevertheless, patients with DOC usually present massive structural brain changes. Therefore, segmentation methods may highly influence the characterization of the underlying cerebral network structure. In this work, we evaluate the level of characterization obtained by using the spatial relationships as descriptor of a sub-cortical cerebral network (left and right thalamus) in patients with DOC, when different segmentation approaches are used (FSL, Free-surfer and manual segmentation). Our results suggest that segmentation process may play a critical role for the construction of robust and reliable structural characterization of DOC conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 January 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9287, 10th International Symposium on Medical Information Processing and Analysis, 92870Q (28 January 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2073670
Show Author Affiliations
Darwin Martínez, Univ. Central (Colombia)
Jamuna J. Mahalingam, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Andrea Soddu, Western Univ. (Canada)
Hugo Franco, Univ. Central (Colombia)
Natasha Lepore, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Steven Laureys, Univ. de Liège (Belgium)
Francisco Gómez, Univ. Central (Colombia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9287:
10th International Symposium on Medical Information Processing and Analysis
Eduardo Romero; Natasha Lepore, Editor(s)

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