Computational protocol: A multimodal MRI approach to identify and characterize microstructural brain changes in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus

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Protocol publication

[…] WM hyperintensities were manually segmented from the FLAIR images by an expert reader (O.T.) and binary lesion masks were created for each subject using MIPAV (Medical Image Processing, Analysis and Visualization) software (; ). All FLAIR images were affine registered to MNI152 standard space using FSL FLIRT (; ). The same transformation matrix was applied to align individual lesion masks to the standard space. Cumulative lesion masks were created for NPSLE patients, SLE patients and HC by adding all individual lesion masks from each group in standard space. [...] Permutation tests were applied to 4D skeletonized FA, MD, AD, RD and MTR images in order to assess voxel-wise statistics between NPSLE patients, SLE patients, and HC. 5000 permutations were used and corrected for multiple comparison based on TFCE (Threshold-Free Cluster Enhancement) (). Age related changes between groups were corrected by using demeaned age of each individual as a covariate in the TBSS process. In order to assess the statistical differences between NPSLE, SLE, and HC on WM voxels, ANOVA tests were performed with a threshold of p-value < 0.05 on FA, MD, AD, RD and MTR maps. Mann–Whitney U tests were applied to the statistical comparisons of the number and normalized volume of WMH between NPSLE, SLE and HC groups in IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0 (IBM Corp. Released 2011, Armonk, NY, US). […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools MIPAV, SPSS
Applications Miscellaneous, Nuclear medicine imaging
Organisms Homo sapiens
Diseases Autoimmune Diseases, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin, Radial Neuropathy, Lupus Vasculitis, Central Nervous System