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The Brainbox-a tool to facilitate correlation of brain magnetic resonance imaging features to histopathology


Faigle, Wolfgang; Piccirelli, Marco; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Frontzek, Karl; Cannon, Amelia Elaine; Zürrer, Wolfgang Emanuel; Granberg, Tobias; Kulcsar, Zsolt; Ludersdorfer, Thomas; Frauenknecht, Katrin B M; Reimann, Regina; Ineichen, Benjamin Victor (2023). The Brainbox-a tool to facilitate correlation of brain magnetic resonance imaging features to histopathology. Brain Communications, 5(6):fcad307.

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has limitations in identifying underlying tissue pathology, which is relevant for neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, stroke or brain tumours. However, there are no standardized methods for correlating MRI features with histopathology. Thus, here we aimed to develop and validate a tool that can facilitate the correlation of brain MRI features to corresponding histopathology. For this, we designed the Brainbox, a waterproof and MRI-compatible 3D printed container with an integrated 3D coordinate system. We used the Brainbox to acquire post-mortem ex vivo MRI of eight human brains, fresh and formalin-fixed, and correlated focal imaging features to histopathology using the built-in 3D coordinate system. With its built-in 3D coordinate system, the Brainbox allowed correlation of MRI features to corresponding tissue substrates. The Brainbox was used to correlate different MR image features of interest to the respective tissue substrate, including normal anatomical structures such as the hippocampus or perivascular spaces, as well as a lacunar stroke. Brain volume decreased upon fixation by 7% (P = 0.01). The Brainbox enabled degassing of specimens before scanning, reducing susceptibility artefacts and minimizing bulk motion during scanning. In conclusion, our proof-of-principle experiments demonstrate the usability of the Brainbox, which can contribute to improving the specificity of MRI and the standardization of the correlation between post-mortem ex vivo human brain MRI and histopathology. Brainboxes are available upon request from our institution.

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has limitations in identifying underlying tissue pathology, which is relevant for neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, stroke or brain tumours. However, there are no standardized methods for correlating MRI features with histopathology. Thus, here we aimed to develop and validate a tool that can facilitate the correlation of brain MRI features to corresponding histopathology. For this, we designed the Brainbox, a waterproof and MRI-compatible 3D printed container with an integrated 3D coordinate system. We used the Brainbox to acquire post-mortem ex vivo MRI of eight human brains, fresh and formalin-fixed, and correlated focal imaging features to histopathology using the built-in 3D coordinate system. With its built-in 3D coordinate system, the Brainbox allowed correlation of MRI features to corresponding tissue substrates. The Brainbox was used to correlate different MR image features of interest to the respective tissue substrate, including normal anatomical structures such as the hippocampus or perivascular spaces, as well as a lacunar stroke. Brain volume decreased upon fixation by 7% (P = 0.01). The Brainbox enabled degassing of specimens before scanning, reducing susceptibility artefacts and minimizing bulk motion during scanning. In conclusion, our proof-of-principle experiments demonstrate the usability of the Brainbox, which can contribute to improving the specificity of MRI and the standardization of the correlation between post-mortem ex vivo human brain MRI and histopathology. Brainboxes are available upon request from our institution.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:correlation; histopathology; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; neuroimaging
Language:English
Date:8 November 2023
Deposited On:16 Jan 2024 15:37
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:2632-1297
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcad307
PubMed ID:38025281
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)