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Keywords:

  • ex vivo;
  • volumetry;
  • MRI;
  • segmentation

Purpose

The aims of this work were to (a) develop an approach for ex vivo MR volumetry of human brain hemispheres that does not contaminate the results of histopathological examination, (b) longitudinally assess regional brain volumes postmortem, and (c) investigate the relationship between MR volumetric measurements performed in vivo and ex vivo.

Methods

An approach for ex vivo MR volumetry of human brain hemispheres was developed. Five hemispheres from elderly subjects were imaged ex vivo longitudinally. All datasets were segmented. The longitudinal behavior of volumes measured ex vivo was assessed. The relationship between in vivo and ex vivo volumetric measurements was investigated in seven elderly subjects imaged both antemortem and postmortem.

Results

This approach for ex vivo MR volumetry did not contaminate the results of histopathological examination. For a period of 6 months postmortem, within-subject volume variation across time points was substantially smaller than intersubject volume variation. A close linear correspondence was detected between in vivo and ex vivo volumetric measurements.

Conclusion

Regional brain volumes measured with this approach for ex vivo MR volumetry remain relatively unchanged for a period of 6 months postmortem. Furthermore, the linear relationship between in vivo and ex vivo MR volumetric measurements suggests that this approach captures information linked to antemortem macrostructural brain characteristics. Magn Reson Med 71:364–374, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.