Logo Logo
Switch language to English
Mohajer, Mojgan (2012): Cluster analysis of the signal curves in perfusion DCE-MRI datasets. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Mathematik, Informatik und Statistik



Pathological studies show that tumors consist of different sub-regions with more homogeneous vascular properties during their growth. In addition, destroying tumor's blood supply is the target of most cancer therapies. Finding the sub-regions in the tissue of interest with similar perfusion patterns provides us with valuable information about tissue structure and angiogenesis. This information on cancer therapy, for example, can be used in monitoring the response of the cancer treatment to the drug. Cluster analysis of perfusion curves assays to find sub-regions with a similar perfusion pattern. The present work focuses on the cluster analysis of perfusion curves, measured by dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). The study, besides searching for the proper clustering method, follows two other major topics, the choice of an appropriate similarity measure, and determining the number of clusters. These three subjects are connected to each other in such a way that success in one direction will help solving the other problems. This work introduces a new similarity measure, parallelism measure (PM), for comparing the parallelism in the washout phase of the signal curves. Most of the previous works used the Euclidean distance as the measure of dissimilarity. However, the Euclidean distance does not take the patterns of the signal curves into account and therefore for comparing the signal curves is not sufficient. To combine the advantages of both measures a two-steps clustering is developed. The two-steps clustering uses two different similarity measures, the introduced PM measure and Euclidean distance in two consecutive steps. The results of two-steps clustering are compared with the results of other clustering methods. The two-steps clustering besides good performance has some other advantages. The granularity and the number of clusters are controlled by thresholds defined by considering the noise in signal curves. The method is easy to implement and is robust against noise. The focus of the work is mainly the cluster analysis of breast tumors in DCE-MRI datasets. The possibility to adopt the method for liver datasets is studied as well.