Multifractal analysis of deep white matter microstructural changes on MRI in relation to early-stage atherosclerosis

Tetsuya Takahashi, Tetsuhito Murata, Kosuke Narita, Toshihiko Hamada, Hirotaka Kosaka, Masao Omori, Koichi Takahashi, Hirohiko Kimura, Haruyoshi Yoshida, Yuji Wada
2006 NeuroImage  
Multifractal analysis based on generalized concepts of fractals has been applied to evaluate biological tissues composed of complex structures. This type of analysis can provide a precise quantitative description of a broad range of heterogeneous phenomena. Previously, we applied multifractal analysis to describe heterogeneity in white matter signal fluctuation on T2weighted MR images as a new method of texture analysis and established Da as the most suitable index for evaluating white matter
more » ... ting white matter structural complexity (Takahashi et al. J. Neurol. Sci., 2004; 225: 33À37). Considerable evidence suggests that pathophysiological processes occurring in deep white matter regions may be partly responsible for cognitive deterioration and dementia in elderly subjects. We carried out a multifractal analysis in a group of 36 healthy elderly subjects who showed no evidence of atherosclerotic risk factors to examine the microstructural changes of the deep white matter on T2-weighted MR images. We also performed conventional texture analysis, i.e., determined the standard deviation of signal intensity divided by mean signal intensity (SD/MSI) for comparison with multifractal analysis. Next, we examined the association between the findings of these two types of texture analysis and the ultrasonographically measured intima -media thickness (IMT) of the carotid arteries, a reliable indicator of early carotid atherosclerosis. The severity of carotid IMT was positively associated with Da in the deep white matter region. In addition, this association remained significant after excluding 12 subjects with visually detectable deep white matter hyperintensities on MR images. However, there was no significant association between the severity of carotid IMTand SD/MSI. These results indicate the potential usefulness of applying multifractal analysis to conventional MR images as a new approach to detect the microstructural changes of apparently normal white matter during the early stages of atherosclerosis. D
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.04.218 pmid:16815037 fatcat:6yi6kujd3jdadgfgdnu3h5duci