SCIT Quarterly Seminar

October 21, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
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“High Resolution Breast Diffusion Weighted Imaging”
Jessica McKay, PhD

ABSTRACT: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is a quantitative MRI method that measures the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water molecules, which reflects cell density and serves as an indication of malignancy. Unfortunately, however, the clinical value of DWI is severely limited by the undesirable features in images that common clinical methods produce, including large geometric distortions, ghosting and chemical shift artifacts, and insufficient spatial resolution. Thus, in order to exploit information encoded in diffusion characteristics and fully assess the clinical value of ADC measurements, it is first imperative to achieve technical advancements of DWI.

In this talk, I will largely focus on the background of breast DWI, providing the clinical motivation for this work and explaining the current standard in breast DWI and alternatives proposed throughout the literature. I will also present my PhD dissertation work in which a novel strategy for high resolution breast DWI was developed. The purpose of this work is to improve DWI methods for breast imaging at 3 Tesla to robustly provide diffusion-weighted images and ADC maps with anatomical quality and resolution. This project has two major parts: Nyquist ghost correction and the use of simultaneous multislice imaging (SMS) to achieve high resolution. Exploratory work was completed to characterize the Nyquist ghost in breast DWI, showing that, although the ghost is mostly linear, the three-line navigator is unreliable, especially in the presence of fat. A novel referenceless ghost correction, Ghost/Object minimization was developed that reduced the ghost in standard SE-EPI and advanced SMS. An advanced SMS method with axial reformatting (AR) is presented for high resolution breast DWI. In a reader study, AR-SMS was preferred by three breast radiologists compared to the standard SE-EPI and readout-segmented-EPI.

“Machine-learning Approach to Differentiation of Benign and Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors: A Multicenter Study”

Michael Zhang, MD

ABSTRACT: Clinicoradiologic differentiation between benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) is a diagnostic challenge with important management implications. We sought to develop a radiomics classifier based on 900 features extracted from gadolinium-enhanced, T1-weighted MRI, using the Quantitative Imaging Feature Pipeline and the PyRadiomics package. Additional patient-specific clinical variables were recorded. A radiomic signature was derived from least absolute shrinkage and selection operator, followed by gradient boost machine learning. A training and test set were selected randomly in a 70:30 ratio. We further evaluated the performance of radiomics-based classifier models against human readers of varying medical-training backgrounds. Following image pre-processing, 95 malignant and 171 benign PNSTs were available. The final classifier included 21 features and achieved a sensitivity 0.676, specificity 0.882, and area under the curve (AUC) 0.845. Collectively, human readers achieved sensitivity 0.684, specificity 0.742, and AUC 0.704. We concluded that radiomics using routine gadolinium enhanced, T1-weighted MRI sequences and clinical features can aid in the evaluation of PNSTs, particularly by increasing specificity for diagnosing malignancy. Further improvement may be achieved with incorporation of additional imaging sequences.

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