Quantitative MRI assessments of white matter in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Wilburn E. Reddick, John O. Glass, Kathleen J. Helton, Chin-Shang Li, Ching Hon Pui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The purpose of this study was to use objective quantitative MR imaging methods to prospectively assess changes in the physiological structure of white matter during the temporal evolution of leukoencephalopathy (LE) in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The longitudinal incidence, extent (proportion of white matter affect), and intensity (elevation of T1 and T2 relaxation rates) of LE was evaluated for 44 children. A combined imaging set consisting of T1, T2, PD, and FLAIR MR images and white matter, gray matter and CSF a priori maps from a spatially normalized atlas were analyzed with a neural network segmentation based on a Kohonen Self-Organizing Map (SOM). Quantitative T1 and T2 relaxation maps were generated using a nonlinear parametric optimization procedure to fit the corresponding multi-exponential models. A Cox proportional regression was performed to estimate the effect of intravenous methotrexate (IV-MTX) exposure on the development of LE followed by a generalized linear model to predict the probability of LE in new patients. Additional T-tests of independent samples were performed to assess differences in quantitative measures of extent and intensity at four different points in therapy. Higher doses and more courses of IV-MTX placed patients at a higher risk of developing LE and were associated with more intense changes affecting more of the white matter volume; many of the changes resolved after completion of therapy. The impact of these changes on neurocognitive functioning and quality of life in survivors remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
EditorsA.A. Amini, A. Manduca
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2005 - Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2005Feb 15 2005


OtherMedical Imaging 2005 - Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Neurotoxicity
  • Pediatric Oncology
  • Quantitative MR Imaging
  • Relaxometry
  • Segmentation
  • White Matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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