Designed Database of MR Brain Images of Healthy Volunteers (Size: 5Gb)
> In community MIDAS/NLM: Imaging Methods Assessment and Reporting/Public Data Standards

Bullitt, Elizabeth; Smith, J Keith; Lin, Weili

Abstract

One of the goals of the CASILab at the University of North Carolina-CH is to assess disease via statistical analysis of the shapes of structures defined from magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brain. A requirement for such assessment is knowledge of the range of shapes of healthy anatomical structures. Many of the currently publicly available image databases include images acquired with variable parameter settings, with large interslice spacing, without the screening of “healthy” subjects for the presence of disease, and/or with mix of old and young subjects of both sexes under conditions in which both age and sex may affect the size and configuration of healthy anatomical structures.

We here provide a designed MR database comprising images of the brain of 100 healthy subjects in which 20 patients were scanned per decade (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60+), with each group equally divided by sex, and with exclusion of any subject with a history of diabetes, hypertension, head trauma, psychiatric disease, or other symptoms or history likely to affect the brain. Images were acquired on a 3T unit under standardized protocols. Images include T1 and T2 acquired at 1x1x1 mm3, Magnetic Resonance Angiograpy (MRA) acquired at 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.8 mm3, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) using 6 directions and a voxel size of 2x2x2 mm3.  In addition to age and sex, handedness and race were also recorded. All subjects provided signed consent allowing images to be made publicly available on the web. The database includes an additional 8 patients because claustrophobia prevented a few subjects from completing the study and a few others exhibited either unexpected abnormalities on MR or motion artifact during some image acquisitions.

We believe that this database may prove useful in assessing the effects of healthy aging but, perhaps even more importantly, could also provide the basis against which to assess a variety of diseases.

Subject Demographics

A pdf file, available HERE, provides information about the age, gender, handedness, and race as well as the type and quality of images available for each subject. 

Image Format

Images are presented in the MetaImage format. Each image can thus be loaded directly by any program that supports MetaImage, including most ITK and VTK-based applications. Details on the MetaImage format as well as software for viewing and converting MetaImages is available at http://www.itk.org/Wiki/MetaIO.  Sample DICOM headers for each type of scan in this database are available HERE.

Terms of Use

This database is provided without charge for use in research, teaching, and commercial developments that advance the medical field.  Uses outside of the medical field require prior written approval from Dr. Elizabeth Bullitt.  These data may not be redistributed except when a few cases are distributed as part of an electronic publication in which the author of the publication has added significant value to the publication, beyond the value of the cases being redistributed.  In all other situations, citations and links to this webpage should be used.

We request that any publication or project that uses this data do the following:

a) Cite the following paper 
      Bullitt E, Zeng D, Gerig G, Aylward S, Joshi S, Smith JK, Lin W, Ewend MG (2005) Vessel tortuosity and brain tumor malignancy: A blinded study. Academic Radiology 12:1232-1240
as an example of how this kind of healthy image database can be used,

b) Include the following text (or something similar) in your acknowledgements
      "The MR brain images from healthy volunteers used in this paper were collected and made available by the CASILab at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and were distributed by the MIDAS Data Server at Kitware, Inc."

Data Illustrations

Sample images from a typical healthy patient are shown below.
Axial slice of a magnetic resonance angiogram with a maximum intensity projection shown at right.
Axial slice of a diffusion tensor image. Colored image displaying fiber tracking at right is provided courtesy of Dr. Guido Gerig.
T2 in axial, sagittal and coronal planes.
T1 in axial, sagittal and coronal planes.

DTI Image Directions

For the 6 direction DTI there are two diffusion weightings, b=0 and b=1000. The direction information is as follows:

1.0, 0.0, 1.0, XYZ
-1.0, 0.0, 1.0, XYZ
0.0, 1.0, 1.0, XYZ
0.0, 1.0, -1.0, XYZ
1.0, 1.0, 0.0, XYZ
-1.0, 1.0, 0.0, XYZ
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this community: http://hdl.handle.net/1926/594

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