MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

Yvette I. Sheline, Kevin J. Black, Daniel Y. Lin, Joseph Pimmel, Po Wang, John Haller, John Csernansky, Mokhtar Gado, Ron Walkup, Barry Brunsden, Michael Vannier

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Design: Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Result: Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was < 0.03. The overall 3-way inter-rater ICC = 0.95; intra-rater ICCs = 0.95-0.98. The use of specific internal landmarks to define prefrontal cortex boundaries on 3D images was critical to obtaining accurate measurements. Conclusion: MR prefrontal cortex volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-770
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 12 1995
EventMedical Imaging 1995: Image Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 26 1995Mar 2 1995


  • 3-D MRI
  • Brain
  • Frontal lobe
  • Stereology
  • Volumetry


Dive into the research topics of 'MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this