WE-FG-206-12: Enhanced Laws Textures: A Potential MRI Surrogate Marker of Hepatic Fibrosis in a Murine Model




To compare enhanced Laws texture derived from parametric proton density (PD) maps to other MRI-based surrogate markers (T2, PD, ADC) in assessing degrees of liver fibrosis in a murine model of hepatic fibrosis using 11.7T scanner.


This animal study was IACUC approved. Fourteen mice were divided into control (n=1) and experimental (n=13). The latter were fed a DDC-supplemented diet to induce hepatic fibrosis. Liver specimens were imaged using an 11.7T scanner; the parametric PD, T2, and ADC maps were generated from spin-echo pulsed field gradient and multi-echo spin-echo acquisitions. Enhanced Laws texture analysis was applied to the PD maps: first, hepatic blood vessels and liver margins were segmented/removed using an automated dual-clustering algorithm; secondly, an optimal thresholding algorithm was applied to reduce the partial volume artifact; next, mean and stdev were corrected to minimize grayscale variation across images; finally, Laws texture was extracted. Degrees of fibrosis was assessed by an experienced pathologist and digital image analysis (%Area Fibrosis). Scatterplots comparing enhanced Laws texture, T2, PD, and ADC values to degrees of fibrosis were generated and correlation coefficients were calculated. Unenhanced Laws texture was also compared to assess the effectiveness of the proposed enhancements.


Hepatic fibrosis and the enhanced Laws texture were strongly correlated with higher %Area Fibrosis associated with higher Laws texture (r=0.89). Only a moderate correlation was detected between %Area Fibrosis and unenhanced Laws texture (r=0.70). Strong correlation also existed between ADC and %Area Fibrosis (r=0.86). Moderate correlations were seen between %Area Fibrosis and PD (r=0.65) and T2 (r=0.66).


Higher degrees of hepatic fibrosis are associated with increased Laws texture. The proposed enhancements improve the accuracy of Laws texture. Enhanced Laws texture features are more accurate than PD and T2 in assessing fibrosis, and can potentially serve as an accurate surrogate marker for hepatic fibrosis.