Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) most recently has proved to open a measureless window on functional neurodevelopment in utero. Fetal brain activation and connectivity maps can be heavily influenced by 1) fetal-specific motion effects on the time-series and 2) the accuracy of time-series spatial normalization to a standardized gestational-week (GW) specific fetal template space. Due to the absence of a standardized and generalizable image processing protocol, the objective of the present work was to implement a validated fetal rs-fMRI preprocessing pipeline (RS-FetMRI) divided into 6 inter-dependent preprocessing modules (i.e., M1 to M6) and designed to work entirely as an extension for Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM). RS-FetMRI pipeline output analyses on rs-fMRI time-series sampled from a cohort of fetuses acquired on both 1.5 T and 3 T MRI scanning systems showed increased efficacy of estimation of the degree of movement coupled with an efficient motion censoring procedure, resulting in increased number of motion-uncorrupted volumes and temporal continuity in fetal rs-fMRI time-series data. Moreover, a “structural-free” SPM-based spatial normalization procedure granted a high degree of spatial overlap with high reproducibility and a significant improvement in whole-brain and parcellation-specific Temporal Signal-to-Noise Ratio (TSNR) mirrored by functional connectivity analysis. To our knowledge, the RS-FetMRI pipeline is the first semi-automatic and easy-to-use standardized fetal rs-fMRI preprocessing pipeline completely integrated in MATLAB-SPM able to remove entry barriers for new research groups into the field of fetal rs-fMRI, for both research or clinical purposes, and ultimately to make future fetal brain connectivity investigations more suitable for comparison and cross-validation.

RS-FetMRI: a MATLAB-SPM Based Tool for Pre-processing Fetal Resting-State fMRI Data

Pecco N.;Castellano A.;Candiani M.;Falini A.;
2022

Abstract

Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) most recently has proved to open a measureless window on functional neurodevelopment in utero. Fetal brain activation and connectivity maps can be heavily influenced by 1) fetal-specific motion effects on the time-series and 2) the accuracy of time-series spatial normalization to a standardized gestational-week (GW) specific fetal template space. Due to the absence of a standardized and generalizable image processing protocol, the objective of the present work was to implement a validated fetal rs-fMRI preprocessing pipeline (RS-FetMRI) divided into 6 inter-dependent preprocessing modules (i.e., M1 to M6) and designed to work entirely as an extension for Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM). RS-FetMRI pipeline output analyses on rs-fMRI time-series sampled from a cohort of fetuses acquired on both 1.5 T and 3 T MRI scanning systems showed increased efficacy of estimation of the degree of movement coupled with an efficient motion censoring procedure, resulting in increased number of motion-uncorrupted volumes and temporal continuity in fetal rs-fMRI time-series data. Moreover, a “structural-free” SPM-based spatial normalization procedure granted a high degree of spatial overlap with high reproducibility and a significant improvement in whole-brain and parcellation-specific Temporal Signal-to-Noise Ratio (TSNR) mirrored by functional connectivity analysis. To our knowledge, the RS-FetMRI pipeline is the first semi-automatic and easy-to-use standardized fetal rs-fMRI preprocessing pipeline completely integrated in MATLAB-SPM able to remove entry barriers for new research groups into the field of fetal rs-fMRI, for both research or clinical purposes, and ultimately to make future fetal brain connectivity investigations more suitable for comparison and cross-validation.
Fetal
Motion estimation
Pipeline
Pre-processing
Resting-state Fmri
Spatial normalization
Humans
Reproducibility of Results
Rest
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Brain
Fetus
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain Mapping
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/133734
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