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Abstract #0265

Sensitive and Noise-Resistant Identification of Voxel-Wise Changes in Magnetization Transfer Ratio Via Cluster Enhancement and M-Estimator-Based Monte Carlo Simulation

Michael G. Dwyer1, Niels Bergsland1, Sara Hussein1, Jacqueline Durfee1, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman1,2, Robert Zivadinov1,2

1Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA; 2The Jacobs Neurological Institute, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

We propose a sensitive and reliable means for automatically quantifying the volumes of significantly increasing and decreasing MTR in brain MRI over time. This method takes advantage of the newly developed threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE) technique to increase sensitivity without sacrificing specificity. It also utilizes a Monte Carlo simulation approach to ensure that results can be interpreted within a correct statistical framework. The method is validated via comparative analysis of a patient group with multiple sclerosis and a group of healthy volunteers