Neuro Solutions

Support for the evaluation in neuroimaging studies, including preprocessing and structural and functional quantification

Neuroimaging Software Solutions

Clinical Challenges


Our research and software development focus on monitoring neurological diseases, planning neurosurgical interventions, supporting clinical trials and performing quantitative studies.

Efficiency, reliability and accuracy of software assistants for evaluating neuroimaging data is of paramount importance within clinical settings, where planning results or therapy decisions might depend on individual measurements.

As more and more MR sequences for imaging the human brain have proven to be clinically useful, it is essential that big data can be processed efficiently and automatically. In addition, there is a high demand for a single software solution which can easily be used for a broad variety of diseases and processing tasks like registration, segmentation and visualization. At the same time, specialized processing tasks like perfusion measurements, spectroscopy quantification or fiber reconstruction has to be smoothly integrated within such an application suite.

Diseases like brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer are only a small subset where our qualitative and quantitative neuroimaging techniques have already proven useful.

 

Solutions and Features

 

Neurological Follow-Up Studies

Neurological follow-up studies often need to process and quantify multimodal MRI data capable of displaying a wide variety of the brain’s structural and functional properties. We offer a number of technologies for both basic processing steps and advanced image analysis techniques required for a variety of neurological questions: fiber tracking [1,2], quantification of diffusion MRI data, volumetric brain analysis, ventricle volumetry, cortical thickness measurement, support in lesion segmentation.

Clinical trials and studies can be used to assess the safety and efficacy of new medications and dosages, of image-based interventions, and of follow-ups. Our training tools allow clinicians to learn facts and images effectively and our examination assistants can be used to ensure high-quality standards, especially in large, multi-center studies [3]. Web-based software solutions decrease costs and time used for reading image data.

 

Neurosurgical Planning

Neurosurgical intervention planning demands for a precise and efficient reconstruction and visualization of the tumor and the risk structures like vessels, axonal fibers and functional areas. Based on multimodal MRI data we developed solutions for computing risk structures by fiber tracking, fMRI visualization and multi-modal vessel extraction [4,5]. In addition, we have solutions for the uncertainty analysis of the results and for quality assurance of MRI data.

For supporting deep brain stimulations and to reduce stimulation-induced side-effects, we developed a direct-feedback image-based expert tuning tool which allows for improving positioning and programming of patient specific steering brain stimulation implants [6]. The system is going to combine pre- and post-operative MRI, directional brain recordings and statistical data about brain areas that are responsible for stimulation- induced side-effects.

 

Highlights

 

  • Fraunhofer MEVIS has developed a software demonstrator, NeuroQLab,  which offers basic tools typically required for processing and working with MR images of the brain, as well as a number of tools specifically targeted at certain clinical problems, e.g., DTI / HARDI: fiber tracking and clustering, Quantification of diffusion imaging data, Volumetric brain analysis, Ventricle volumetry, Cortical thickness measurement. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the application of state-of-the-art technologies and research results from the field of medical image processing in clinical trials and studies. 
  • Eurographics medical prize [1] and Eurographics Dirk Bartz prize [2] for neurosurgical software demonstrators.
  • Our application suite NeuroQLab has been ranked as the best tool in a clinical study, where the accuracy of nine different tractography algorithms has been examined [3].
  • Outstanding results at the MICCAI Tractography Challenge 2013 have been achieved [4].
  • Fraunhofer MEVIS is currently involved in two EU projects related to stroke imaging [5] and deep brain stimulation [6].

[1] A. Köhn et al., 1st Prize of EG Medical Prize 2007.
[2] F. Weiler et al., 3rd Dirk Bartz Prize EG 2011.
[3] G. Feigl et al., World Neurosurgery, 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.01.004.
[4] J. Klein et al., MICCAI 2013 - DTI Tractography Challenge.
[5] www.wakeup-stroke.eu.
[6] www.impact-fp7.eu