Disentangling the contributions of myelin, neurofilament & microglia to MR contrast: an automated pipeline for voxelwise MR-histology analysis
Daniel Z.L. Kor1, Saad Jbabdi1, Jeroen Mollink1, Istvan N. Huszar1, Sean Foxley2, Menuka Pallebage-Gamarallage3, Connor Scott3, Adele Smart3, Olaf Ansorge3, Karla L. Miller1, and Amy F.D. Howard1
1Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, FMRIB, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States, 3Neuropathology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Acquisition of MRI and histology in the same ex-vivo tissue sample enables direct correlation between MR and histologically-derived metrics. Here, we analysed immunohistochemistry images of human visual cortex, anterior cingulate and hippocampus to produce stained area fraction maps for myelin, neurofilaments and microglia. We performed voxelwise correlations between MR parameters (FA, MD, R2*, R1) and histology maps to generally characterise the strength of relationships. We then used partial correlation to identify the unique variance in MR parameters explained by each histological feature, and multiple linear regression to explore how well multiple microstructural properties can together explain MR parameters.
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