Simulating magnetic resonance images based on a model of tumor growth incorporating microenvironment

Pamela R. Jackson, Andrea Hawkins-Daarud, Savannah C. Partridge, Paul E. Kinahan, Kristin R. Swanson

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

1 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive primary brain tumor, is primarily diagnosed and monitored using gadoliniumenhanced T1-weighted and T2-weighted (T2W) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Hyperintensity on T2W images is understood to correspond with vasogenic edema and infiltrating tumor cells. GBM's inherent heterogeneity and resulting non-specific MRI image features complicate assessing treatment response. To better understand treatment response, we propose creating a patient-specific untreated virtual imaging control (UVIC), which represents an individual tumor's growth if it had not been treated, for comparison with actual post-treatment images. We generated a T2W MRI UVIC by combining a patient-specific mathematical model of tumor growth with a multi-compartmental MRI signal equation. GBM growth was mathematically modeled using the previously developed Proliferation-Invasion-Hypoxia-Necrosis- Angiogenesis-Edema (PIHNA-E) model, which simulated tumor as being comprised of three cellular phenotypes: normoxic, hypoxic and necrotic cells interacting with a vasculature species, angiogenic factors and extracellular fluid. Within the PIHNA-E model, both hypoxic and normoxic cells emitted angiogenic factors, which recruited additional vessels and caused the vessels to leak, allowing fluid, or edema, to escape into the extracellular space. The model's output was spatial volume fraction maps for each glioma cell type and edema/extracellular space. Volume fraction maps and corresponding T2 values were then incorporated into a multi-compartmental Bloch signal equation to create simulated T2W images. T2 values for individual compartments were estimated from the literature and a normal volunteer. T2 maps calculated from simulated images had normal white matter, normal gray matter, and tumor tissue T2 values within range of literature values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2018
Subtitle of host publicationImage Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
EditorsFrank W. Samuelson, Robert M. Nishikawa
ISBN (Electronic)9781510616431
StatePublished - 2018
EventMedical Imaging 2018: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment - Houston, United States
Duration: Feb 11 2018Feb 12 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2018: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Glioblastoma
  • biomathematical model
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • synthetic images
  • tumor growth model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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