Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE credits
The focus of this research is to attempt to solve the problem of comparing two MRI brain volumes of the same subject taken at different times, and detect the location and size of the differences between them, especially when such differences are too small to be perceived with the naked eye.
The research focuses on a combination of registration and morphometry techniques in order to create two different possible solutions: A voxel-based method and a tensor-based method. The first method uses Affine or B-Spline registration combined with voxel-by-voxel subtraction of the volumes; the second method uses Demons registration and analysis of the Jacobian determinants at each point of the deformation field obtained. The methods are implemented as modules for 3D Slicer, a software for medical image analysis and visualization.
Both methods are tested on two types of experiments: Artificial experiments, in which made-up differences of distinct sizes are added to volumes of healthy subjects; and real experiments, in which MRIs of real patients are compared.
The results obtained from the voxel-based method are very useful, since it was able to detect with almost complete accuracy all of the artificial differences and expected real differences during the experiments.
The tensor-based method’s results are not as accurate in location or size of the detected differences, and it usually includes more areas of differences where there seems to be none; even though it behaves adequately when the differences are large.
Most of the results obtained are useful for the diagnostic of patients with non-severe trauma to the head; especially when using the voxel-based method. However, the results from both methods are just a suggestion of the size and location of injuries; and as a consequence, the procedure requires the presence of a medical practitioner.