Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentors: Diane Twickler, M.D. and Roderick McColl, Ph.D.
Room number: CS 0.606 (DT) and F 1.614 (RM)
Mail Code: 8896 and 9071
Phone number: 214-648-9107 and 214-648-2910
E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org and Roderick.McColl@UTSouthwestern.edu
Project title: MR Evaluation of the Fetal Corpus Callosum in Relation to Gestational Age and CNS Dysmorphology
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): Exempt IRB review #052004-069
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type patient-based research
This study is intended to explore the capabilities of MR prost-processing in the evaluation of the fetal corpus callosum
Brief Description of Project:
Sagittal, coronal and axial images from MR studies acquired as part of an on-going IRB exempt study will be organized and formatted for the purpose of review on a 3D workstation. From the theoretical standpoint, the added signal-nose ratio from all three projections should improve the resolution on the post-planar images. This is important for assessing the midline structures of the fetal brain and in particular, the corpus callosum and its embryologic development as it relates to gestational age. We hope to find that the combined post-processed image provides improved resolution compared to the originally acquired sagittal projection alone.
The null hypothesis is that the original orthogonal MR projection of the fetal corpus callosum is not different that the combined 3-d post-processed Image. One reviewer (DT) will measure the corpus callosum length based on a technique we designed (see attachment), blinded to the type of image. The quality of the image will also be rated on a scale of 0-3. Correlation co-efficient evaluations will compare length measurements and differences in quality scores will be assessed.
The images will have an assigned study number. There will be no patient interaction or patient data review for this study.
Role of the Student in the Project:
The student's role in the project will include the following tasks.
1) Review the existing MRI exams for image quality, brain coverage, and correct labeling (Axial, Coronal, Sagittal) for subsequent computer analysis.
2) Create a spreadsheet indicating the locations of several anatomical features which will be used by the computer analysis. These will include the lens of the eye, which is quite obvious in the MRI images and will serve to "link" the three scans together. Also included will be the extent of the fetal brain within the field of view on each slice of each scan, which will enable the computer analysis to strip this from the maternal anatomy.
3) Assist Dr. McColl with developing and testing the computer analysis of the fetal brains to assess the hypothesis listed above.
Additionally the student will be given the opportunity to observe fetal MRI examinations with a view to increasing the research experience and to optimize the image acquisition protocol if possible to minimize scan time for the mothers.