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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 5369385, 8 pages
Research Article

Removal of Arterial Vessel Contributions in Susceptibility-Weighted Images for Quantification of Normalized Visible Venous Volume in Children with Sickle Cell Disease

1Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA
2Department of Hematology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Claudia M. Hillenbrand; gro.edujts@dnarbnellih.aidualc

Received 16 April 2017; Revised 25 July 2017; Accepted 13 August 2017; Published 28 August 2017

Academic Editor: Maria Lindén

Copyright © 2017 Adam M. Winchell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To evaluate a new postprocessing framework that eliminates arterial vessel signal contributions in the quantification of normalized visible venous volume (NVVV, a ratio between venous and brain volume) in susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) exams in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Materials and Methods. We conducted a retrospective study and qualitatively reviewed for hypointense arterial vessel contamination in SWI exams from 21 children with SCD. We developed a postprocessing framework using magnetic resonance angiography in combination with SWI to provide a more accurate quantification of NVVV. NVVV was calculated before and after removing arterial vessel contributions to determine the error from hypointense arterial vessels in quantifying NVVV. Results. Hypointense arterial vessel contamination was observed in 86% SWI exams and was successfully corrected by the proposed method. The contributions of hypointense arterial vessels in the original SWI were significant and accounted for approximately 33% of the NVVV [uncorrected NVVV = 0.012 ± 0.005 versus corrected NVVV = 0.008 ± 0.003 (mean ± SD), ]. Conclusion. Hypointense arterial vessel contamination occurred in the majority of SWI exams and led to a sizeable overestimation of the visible venous volume. A prospective longitudinal study is needed to evaluate if quantitation of NVVV was improved and to assess the role of NVVV as a biomarker of SCD severity or stroke risk.