Impact Factor 3.648 | CiteScore 3.99
More on impact ›

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00278

Whole Brain and Cranial Size Adjustments in Volumetric Brain Analyses of Sex- and Age-related Trends Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

 Marek F. Kijonka1*,  Damian Borys2, 3*,  Krzysztof Psiuk-Maksymowicz2, 3,  Kamil Gorczewski4, Piotr Wojcieszek5, Bartosz Kossowski6,  Artur Marchewka6, Andrzej Swierniak2, 3, Maria Sokol1 and Barbara Bobek-Billewicz7
  • 1Department of Medical Physics, Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Poland
  • 2Institute of Automatic Control, Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
  • 3Biotechnology Centre, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
  • 4Institute of Automatic Control, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
  • 5Brachytherapy Department, Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Poland
  • 6Laboratory of Brain Imaging, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology (PAS), Poland
  • 7Department of Radiology, Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Poland

Our goal was to determine the influence of sex, age and the head/brain size on the compartmental brain volumes in the radiologically verified healthy population (96 subjects; 54 women and 42 men) from the Upper Silesia region in Poland.

The MRI examinations were done using 3T Philips Achieva with the same T1-weighted and T2-weighted protocols. The image segmentation procedures were performed with SPM (Statistical Parameter Mapping) and FSL-FIRST software. The volumes of 14 subcortical structures for the left and right hemispheres and 4 overall volumes were calculated. The General Linear Models (GLM) analysis was used with and without the Total Brain Volume (TBV) and Intracranial Volume (ICV) parameters as the covariates to study the regional vs global brain atrophy.

After the ICV/TBV adjustments, the majority of sex differences in the specific volumes of interest (VOIs) revealed to be linked to the difference in the head/brain size parameters. The analysis also confirmed the significant effect of the ageing process on the brain loss. After the TBV adjustment, the age- and sex-related volumetric trends for the grey and white matter volumes were observed: the negative age dependence of the grey matter volume is more pronounced in the males, while in case of the white matter the positive age-related trend in the female group is weaker.
The local losses of the left caudate nucleus and the right thalamus are more advanced than the global brain atrophy.

Different head-size correction strategies are not interchangeable and may yield various volumetric results, but when used together, facilitate studies on the regional dependencies inherent to a healthy, but aging, brain.

Keywords: MRI, Voxel based segmentation, volumetry analysis, Gender Studies, Aging

Received: 04 Nov 2019; Accepted: 11 Mar 2020.

Copyright: © 2020 Kijonka, Borys, Psiuk-Maksymowicz, Gorczewski, Wojcieszek, Kossowski, Marchewka, Swierniak, Sokol and Bobek-Billewicz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Mr. Marek F. Kijonka, Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Department of Medical Physics, Gliwice, Poland, marek.kijonka@io.gliwice.pl
PhD. Damian Borys, Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science, Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Automatic Control, Gliwice, 44-100, Silesian, Poland, damian.borys@polsl.pl