Background: The objective of this study is to assess standardized histograms of signal intensities of T1 signal and T2 signal on sagittal view without enhancement during (1) acute stage, and (2) convalescence stage of pediatric patients with Enterovirus 71 related brainstem encephalitis (BE), and with respect to (3) healthy normal.

Methods: Our subjects were hospitalized between March 2010 and October 2012, and underwent pre- and post-contrast MRI studies. The research question to be answered is whether the comparison of the MRI image intensity histograms and relevant statistical quantification can add new knowledge to the diagnosis of BE patients. So, both 25 cases in acute stage with prolonged T1 and T2 signal, without enhancement, and 13 cases in convalescence stage were introduced. In additional, a healthy group with 25 cases was recruited for comparison.

Results: MRI signal intensity histogram changes of the lesions were compared at the acute and convalescence stages of the disease. Our preliminary results suggest that standardized histograms of signal intensities and their statistical properties are able to provide diagnostic information for the clinical assessment of the disease. Different stages pertaining to the histogram plots comparison showed that overall T1 signal intensity values increase as we traverse from the acute stage to the convalescence stage. And then for the healthy subjects, the T2 signal intensity values changed their magnitudes in a reverse direction. However, exceptions of this can happen in four cases where the primary lesions occurred in the brainstem that developed encephalomalacia resulting in a lower signal in T1WI and higher signal in T2WI. Statistical analysis revealed there was significant difference of T1 signal intensity among the three groups; and also, the T2 signal intensity was lower than other two groups.

Conclusions: Standardized histogram of T1 and T2 intensity provide valuable and useful information for disease diagnosis and evaluation, which can potentially help medical doctors to save the lives of children.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in BioMedical Engineering OnLine, v. 15, 25, p. 1-12.

© 2016 Zeng et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Funding Information

This project was supported by Science, Technology and Innovation Grant of Shenzhen Municipality (No. JCYJ20140416141331532).

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