Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Texture analysis of MR images of patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Kirsi K Holli12*, Lara Harrison123, Prasun Dastidar13, Minna Wäljas5, Suvi Liimatainen48, Tiina Luukkaala67, Juha Öhman45, Seppo Soimakallio13 and Hannu Eskola12

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Imaging Center, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland

3 Tampere Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

4 Department of Neurosciences and Rehabilitation, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

5 Department of Neurosurgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

6 Science Center, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland

7 Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

8 Department of Emergency Medicine Acuta, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

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BMC Medical Imaging 2010, 10:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-10-8

Published: 12 May 2010



Our objective was to study the effect of trauma on texture features in cerebral tissue in mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Our hypothesis was that a mild trauma may cause microstructural changes, which are not necessarily perceptible by visual inspection but could be detected with texture analysis (TA).


We imaged 42 MTBI patients by using 1.5 T MRI within three weeks of onset of trauma. TA was performed on the area of mesencephalon, cerebral white matter at the levels of mesencephalon, corona radiata and centrum semiovale and in different segments of corpus callosum (CC) which have been found to be sensitive to damage. The same procedure was carried out on a control group of ten healthy volunteers. Patients' TA data was compared with the TA results of the control group comparing the amount of statistically significantly differing TA parameters between the left and right sides of the cerebral tissue and comparing the most discriminative parameters.


There were statistically significant differences especially in several co-occurrence and run-length matrix based parameters between left and right side in the area of mesencephalon, in cerebral white matter at the level of corona radiata and in the segments of CC in patients. Considerably less difference was observed in the healthy controls.


TA revealed significant changes in texture parameters of cerebral tissue between hemispheres and CC segments in TBI patients. TA may serve as a novel additional tool for detecting the conventionally invisible changes in cerebral tissue in MTBI and help the clinicians to make an early diagnosis.