Method for optic nerve intensity characterization in mice from Mn2+ enhanced MR images

Debao Xiao, J. Ribic, H. Butzkueven, Ke Fang, Trevor J Kilpatrick, G. F. Egan, Olivier Salvado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Investigating whether manganese transport is impaired in the optic nerve of small animal model is a new approach for evaluating optic neuritis. One needs to quantify signal intensity enhancement due to Mn2+ after intra-orbital injection, along the optic nerve from MR images. Quantification is very challenging as the optic nerve (ON) is not straight, its location does not correspond to standard slice orientation, the noise is substantial, and the signal is subject to inhomogeneity from the coil sensitivity. In this paper, we propose a semi-automatic method whereby 1) the retina point and the start of the chiasm in a mouse brain MR image are defined manually in a 3D visualization environment, 2) optic nerve in reformatted slices perpendicular to the optic nerve segment is semi-manually selected, 3) an automatic algorithm extracts the intensities along the optic nerve while correcting for intensity inhomogeneity, and 4) a model for the Mn2+ diffusion with a exponential decay function is fitted to the intensity profile. Results for the study of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) are reported whereby statistically significant differences were found between the EAE and the control group.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2009: Physics of Medical Imaging
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Medical Imaging - Physics of Medical Imaging 2009 - Lake Buena Vista, United States of America
Duration: 9 Feb 200912 Feb 2009 (Proceedings)


ConferenceConference on Medical Imaging - Physics of Medical Imaging 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityLake Buena Vista
Internet address


  • EAE
  • Manganese
  • Mn2+-enhanced MRI
  • Optic nerve
  • Small animal

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