The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is commonly used as a surgical target for deep brain stimulation in movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease. Tractography-derived connectivity-based parcellation (CBP) has been recently proposed as a suitable tool for non-invasive in vivo identification and pre-operative targeting of specific functional territories within the human STN. However, a well-established, accurate and reproducible protocol for STN parcellation is still lacking. The present work aims at testing the effects of different tractography-based approaches for the reconstruction of STN functional territories. We reconstructed functional territories of the STN on the high-quality dataset of 100 unrelated healthy subjects and on the test-retest dataset of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) repository. Connectivity-based parcellation was performed with a hypothesis-driven approach according to cortico-subthalamic connectivity, after dividing cortical areas into three groups: associative, limbic and sensorimotor. Four parcellation pipelines were compared, combining different signal modeling techniques (single-fiber vs multi-fiber) and different parcellation approaches (winner takes all parcellation vs fiber density thresholding). We tested these procedures on STN regions of interest obtained from three different, commonly employed, subcortical atlases. We evaluated the pipelines both in terms of between-subject similarity, assessed on the cohort of 100 unrelated healthy subjects, and of within-subject similarity, using a second cohort of 44 subjects with available test-retest data. We found that each parcellation provides converging results in terms of location of the identified parcels, but with significative variations in size and shape. All pipelines obtained very high within-subject similarity, with tensor-based approaches outperforming multi-fiber pipelines. On the other hand, higher between-subject similarity was found with multi-fiber signal modeling techniques combined with fiber density thresholding. We suggest that a fine-tuning of tractography-based parcellation may lead to higher reproducibility and aid the development of an optimized surgical targeting protocol.

Effects of diffusion signal modeling and segmentation approaches on subthalamic nucleus parcellation

Milardi, Demetrio;Bertino, Salvatore;Quartarone, Angelo;Anastasi, Giuseppe Pio;Bramanti, Alessia;Ciurleo, Rosella;Cacciola, Alberto
2022-01-01

Abstract

The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is commonly used as a surgical target for deep brain stimulation in movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease. Tractography-derived connectivity-based parcellation (CBP) has been recently proposed as a suitable tool for non-invasive in vivo identification and pre-operative targeting of specific functional territories within the human STN. However, a well-established, accurate and reproducible protocol for STN parcellation is still lacking. The present work aims at testing the effects of different tractography-based approaches for the reconstruction of STN functional territories. We reconstructed functional territories of the STN on the high-quality dataset of 100 unrelated healthy subjects and on the test-retest dataset of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) repository. Connectivity-based parcellation was performed with a hypothesis-driven approach according to cortico-subthalamic connectivity, after dividing cortical areas into three groups: associative, limbic and sensorimotor. Four parcellation pipelines were compared, combining different signal modeling techniques (single-fiber vs multi-fiber) and different parcellation approaches (winner takes all parcellation vs fiber density thresholding). We tested these procedures on STN regions of interest obtained from three different, commonly employed, subcortical atlases. We evaluated the pipelines both in terms of between-subject similarity, assessed on the cohort of 100 unrelated healthy subjects, and of within-subject similarity, using a second cohort of 44 subjects with available test-retest data. We found that each parcellation provides converging results in terms of location of the identified parcels, but with significative variations in size and shape. All pipelines obtained very high within-subject similarity, with tensor-based approaches outperforming multi-fiber pipelines. On the other hand, higher between-subject similarity was found with multi-fiber signal modeling techniques combined with fiber density thresholding. We suggest that a fine-tuning of tractography-based parcellation may lead to higher reproducibility and aid the development of an optimized surgical targeting protocol.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3230719
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