We present a validated protocol for manual segmentation of the thalamus on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using brain image analysis software. The MRI scans of five normal control subjects were randomly selected from a larger cohort recruited from Lund University Hospital and Landskrona Hospital, Sweden. MRIs were performed using a 3.0T Philips MR scanner, with an eight-channel head coil, and high resolution images were acquired using a T1-weighted turbo field echo (T1 TFE) pulse sequence, with resulting voxel size 1×1×1mm(3). Manual segmentation of the left and right thalami and volume measurement was performed on 28-30 contiguous coronal slices, using ANALYZE 11.0 software. Reliability of image analysis was performed by measuring intra-class correlations between initial segmentation and random repeated segmentation of the left and right thalami (in total 10 thalami for segmentation); inter-rater reliability was measured using volumes obtained by two other experienced tracers. Intra-class correlations for two independent raters were 0.95 and 0.98; inter-class correlations between the expert rater and two independent raters were 0.92 and 0.98. We anticipate that mapping thalamic morphology in various neuropsychiatric disorders may yield clinically useful disease-specific biomarkers.
Subject classification (UKÄ)