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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an essential tool in the diagnosis and managing of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Currently, the assessment of MS is based on a combination of clinical scores and subjective rating of lesion images by clinicians. In this work we present an objective 5-way classification of MS disease subtype as well as a comparison between three different approaches. First we propose two spatially informed models, a Bayesian Spatial Generalized Linear Mixed Model (BSGLMM) and a Log Gaussian Cox Process (LGCP). The BSGLMM accounts for the binary nature of lesion maps and the spatial dependence between neighboring voxels, and the LGCP accounts for the random spatial variation in lesion location. Both improve upon mass univariate analyses that ignore spatial dependence and rely on some level of arbitrarily defined smoothing of the data. As a comparison, we consider a machine learning approach based on multi-class support vector machine (SVM). For the SVM classification scheme, unlike previous work, we use a large number of quantitative features derived from three MRI sequences in addition to traditional demographic and clinical measures. We show that the spatial models outperform standard approaches with average prediction accuracies of up to 85%.


Conference paper

Publication Date





797 - 804


Algorithms, Brain, Computer Simulation, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Humans, Image Enhancement, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Models, Anatomic, Models, Neurological, Multiple Sclerosis, Pattern Recognition, Automated, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity