"A visualization platform for high-throughput, follow-up, co-registered multi-contrast MRI rat brain data"
A. Khmelinskii, L. Mengler, P. Kitslaar, M. Staring, M. Hoehn and B.P.F. Lelieveldt
Multi-contrast MRI is a frequently used imaging technique in preclinical brain imaging. In longitudinal cross-sectional studies exploiting and browsing through this high-throughput, heterogeneous data can become a very demanding task. The goal of this work was to build an intuitive and easy to use, dedicated visualization and side-by-side exploration tool for heterogeneous, co-registered multi-contrast, follow-up cross-sectional MRI data. The registration by-products were used: the deformation field was used to automatically link the same voxel in the displayed datasets of interest. Its determinant of the Jacobian (detJac) was used for a faster and more accurate visual assessment and comparison of brain deformation between the follow-up scans. This was combined with an efficient data management scheme. We investigated the functionality and the utility of our tool in the neuroimaging research field by means of a case study evaluation with three experienced domain scientists, using longitudinal, cross-sectional multi-contrast MRI rat brain data. Based on the performed case study evaluation we can conclude that the proposed tool improves the visual assessment of high-throughput cross-sectional, multi-contrast, follow-up data and can further assist in guiding quantitative studies.