Volumetric quantification of brain development using MRI

Neuroradiology. 1997 Dec;39(12):841-6. doi: 10.1007/s002340050517.


We devised a three-dimensional method for estimation of cerebral development and myelination which measures cerebral volume using MRI. Accuracy of the system was estimated using cadaver brains. The mean percentage error in the calculated volumes compared with the real volumes was 2.33%, range 0.00-5.33%. We applied the method to the volume of both cerebral hemispheres (CH), basal ganglia, thalamus and internal capsule (BT), and myelinated white matter (WM) in 44 neurologically normal individuals (4 months to 28 years of age), 13 patients with spastic motor disturbances (2-25 years of age), and 9 patients with athetotic motor disturbances (2-23 years of age). In the neurologically normal cases, the volumes of CH, BT and WM increased with age; the volume of MW more slowly than that of CH. In cases with spastic motor disturbances, the volumes of CH, BT and WM were between -1.4 and 3.5 SD, -1.0 and -3.5 SD, and 0.0 and -5.2 SD respectively, of those of neurologically-normal cases. On the other hand, 7 of the 9 cases with athetotic motor disturbances were within 2 SD of the volume of CH in neurologically normal cases. Our method for direct measurement of cerebral volume based on serial MRI should be useful for the accurate assessment of brain development and quantitative analysis of delayed myelination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athetosis / pathology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cadaver
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology