A Talk on Fetal fMRI at SPIE Medical Imaging

I had an oral presentation at the SPIE Medical imaging conference which held in Orlando, Florida at February 25, 2015. At the fMRI session of the conference on Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, the presented topic was about our proposed preprocessing pipeline for handling severe fetal movement effectively in functional MRI of the fetal brain and placenta during maternal hyperoxia (see the figure).

An example of fMRI image including the fetal brain and placenta
One of the key strategies in the proposed method is to optimize each preprocessing step to the experimental design by processing different phases and ROIs of acquisition separately. In spite of these advanced motion correction strategies, fetal motion is not perfectly corrected. To overcome the practical limitation, we also suggested the volume outlier rejection method which automatically excludes high-motion volumes and all the missing data in ROI-averaged signals are imputed by regression. We showed that our method was effective to acquire reliable ROI-averaged time series from BOLD signals disturbed by severe fetal motion without large data loss, comparing to traditional preprocessing methods.

There were some questions regarding volume outlier rejection and ROI definition, which stimulated me to improve them through the future works. The paper was published in the SPIE proceedings on medical imaging, and can be downloaded from the SPIE Digital Library.
Wonsang You ; Ahmed Serag ; Iordanis E. Evangelou ; Nickie Andescavage ; Catherine Limperopoulos; Robust motion correction and outlier rejection of in vivo functional MR images of the fetal brain and placenta during maternal hyperoxia. Proc. SPIE 9417, Medical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 94170O (March 17, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2082451.
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