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Vascular Territory Segmentation Software

A novel vascular territory segmentation software integrated with MRI technology to generate accurate blood vessel territory maps that indicate the source artery locations important for radiologists to localize ischemic brain tissue.

Technology Overview

Ref #: WFU 13-65

A researcher at Wake Forest Baptist medical Center has designed an algorithm and software that segment vascular territory data indicating potential feeding artery locations using connectivity information from both image and label space obtained during a standard MRI. The automation provided by this software creates a rapid visualization of perfusion, and does not require either catheterization or other invasive methods.

The visualization and quantification of the perfusion territories from major feeding arteries in the brain is important for many clinical applications, including arterial stenosis and ischemic stroke. Current MRI processing techniques that monitor this activity in the brain are limited because they require manual intervention and post-processing. Often this manual approach leads to inaccurate visualization of perfusion in the brain.

The current limitations in monitoring vessel territory may increase the likelihood of a clinician missing the signs of arterial stenosis or ischemic stroke. In the presence of arterial stenosis or ischemic stroke, blood flow is restricted and blood supply decreases to the parts of the brain fed by corresponding vessels. Often collateral circulation increases in the brain as a mechanism to bypass and compensate for blockage in a main artery. This increased collateral flow can supply enough oxygenated blood to maintain adequate cerebral perfusion for supporting brain function. Such collateral circulation masks stenosis or stroke symptoms, creating the need for non-invasive clinical exams to determine levels of stenosis or occlusion in symptom-free patients.

Initial testing on the technology using a Siemens Skyra 3T scanner on 20 normal patients has been completed. Vascular territory maps were created with a Fourier Encoded Arterial Spin Labeling technique with 2D Echo Planar Imaging acquisition. Results of the vascular territory maps show the anterior and middle cerebral regions are supplied via the internal carotid arteries and the posterior cerebral region supplied from the vertebral arteries. This technology showed unique patient variability in the probabilistic territory maps which would not be possible with current conventional vascular territory mapping.

  • Youngkyoo Jung, PhD, Department of Radiology

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John Druga
John Druga, MS, MBA
Licensing Director, Technology Commercialization