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, 55 (12), 2169-2182

3D Structural Complexity Analysis of Cerebellum in Chiari Malformation Type I

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3D Structural Complexity Analysis of Cerebellum in Chiari Malformation Type I

Engin Akar et al. Med Biol Eng Comput.

Abstract

Chiari malformation type I (CM-I), described by a descent of the cerebellar tonsils, is assumed to be a neurological developmental disorder. The aim of the present study was to investigate morphological variance in cerebellar sub-structures, including gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), using magnetic resonance (MR) images with three-dimensional (3D) fractal dimension (FD) analysis in patients with CM-I. MRI data of 16 patients and 15 control subjects were obtained, and structural complexity analyses were performed using a box-counting FD algorithm. Results showed that patients with CM-I had significantly reduced FD values for WM and CSF in comparison with controls, and statistically significant differences in cerebellar GM and CSF volumes between patients and controls were found. Moreover, a significant difference was not found between the WM volumes. This may suggest that there are changes in structural complexity in WM even when its volume is unaffected. We conclude that the findings of this preliminary study indicate the possibility of using FD analysis to understand the pathophysiology of CM-I in patients.

Keywords: Box-counting; Chiari malformation; Fractal dimension; Magnetic resonance imaging.

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