Diffusion-based biophysical models have been used in several recent works to study the microenvironment of brain tumours. While the pathophysiological interpretation of the parameters of these models remains unclear, their use as signal representations may yield useful biomarkers for monitoring the treatment and the progression of this complex and heterogeneous disease. Up to now, however, no study was devoted to assessing the mathematical stability of these approaches in cancerous brain regions. To this end, we analyzed in 11 brain tumour patients the fitting results of two microstructure models (Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging and the Spherical Mean Technique) and of a signal representation (Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging) to compare the reliability of their parameter estimates in the healthy brain and in the tumoral lesion. The framework of our between-tissue analysis included the computation of 1) the residual sum of squares as a goodness-of-fit measure 2) the standard deviation of the models’ derived metrics and 3) models’ sensitivity functions to analyze the suitability of the employed protocol for parameter estimation in the different microenvironments. Our results revealed no issues concerning the fitting of the models in the tumoral lesion, with similar goodness of fit and parameter precisions occurring in normal appearing and pathological tissues. Lastly, with the aim of highlight possible biomarkers, in our analysis we briefly discuss the correlation between the metrics of the three techniques, identifying groups of indices which are significantly collinear in all tissues and thus provide no additional information when jointly used in data-driven analyses.

Diffusion-based microstructure models in brain tumours: Fitting in presence of a model-microstructure mismatch

Villani U.
;
Schiavi S.
;
Anglani M.
;
Facchini S.
;
Monai E.
;
D'Avella D.
;
Cecchin D.
;
Corbetta M.;Bertoldo A.
2022

Abstract

Diffusion-based biophysical models have been used in several recent works to study the microenvironment of brain tumours. While the pathophysiological interpretation of the parameters of these models remains unclear, their use as signal representations may yield useful biomarkers for monitoring the treatment and the progression of this complex and heterogeneous disease. Up to now, however, no study was devoted to assessing the mathematical stability of these approaches in cancerous brain regions. To this end, we analyzed in 11 brain tumour patients the fitting results of two microstructure models (Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging and the Spherical Mean Technique) and of a signal representation (Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging) to compare the reliability of their parameter estimates in the healthy brain and in the tumoral lesion. The framework of our between-tissue analysis included the computation of 1) the residual sum of squares as a goodness-of-fit measure 2) the standard deviation of the models’ derived metrics and 3) models’ sensitivity functions to analyze the suitability of the employed protocol for parameter estimation in the different microenvironments. Our results revealed no issues concerning the fitting of the models in the tumoral lesion, with similar goodness of fit and parameter precisions occurring in normal appearing and pathological tissues. Lastly, with the aim of highlight possible biomarkers, in our analysis we briefly discuss the correlation between the metrics of the three techniques, identifying groups of indices which are significantly collinear in all tissues and thus provide no additional information when jointly used in data-driven analyses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3439685
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