Multi-Slice Radiomic Analysis of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Metrics Improves Evaluation of Brain Alterations in Neonates With Congenital Heart Diseases

Meijiao Zhu, Dadi Zhao, Ying Wang, Qinghua Zhou, Shujie Wang, Xuming Mo, Ming Yang, Yu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) can provide phenotypic information of brain lesions, which can aid the diagnosis of brain alterations in neonates with congenital heart diseases (CHDs). However, the corresponding clinical significance of quantitative descriptors of brain tissue remains to be elucidated. By using ADC metrics and texture features, this study aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of single-slice and multi-slice measurements for assessing brain alterations in neonates with CHDs. ADC images were acquired from 60 neonates with echocardiographically confirmed non-cyanotic CHDs and 22 healthy controls (HCs) treated at Children's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University from 2012 to 2016. ADC metrics and texture features for both single and multiple slices of the whole brain were extracted and analyzed to the gestational age. The diagnostic performance of ADC metrics for CHDs was evaluated by using analysis of covariance and receiver operating characteristic. For both the CHD and HC groups, ADC metrics were inversely correlated with the gestational age in single and multi-slice measurements (P < 0.05). Histogram metrics were significant for identifying CHDs (P < 0.05), while textural features were insignificant. Multi-slice ADC (P < 0.01) exhibited greater diagnostic performance for CHDs than single-slice ADC (P < 0.05). These findings indicate that radiomic analysis based on ADC metrics can objectively provide more quantitative information regarding brain development in neonates with CHDs. ADC metrics for the whole brain may be more clinically significant in identifying atypical brain development in these patients. Of note, these results suggest that multi-slice ADC can achieve better diagnostic performance for CHD than single-slice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number586518
JournalFrontiers in neurology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. This study was supported by the Research Project of Maternal and Child Health Care in Jiangsu (F201554), the Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province (WSN-192), and the Research project of Jiangsu Provincial Health Commission (LGY2019009).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Zhu, Zhao, Wang, Zhou, Wang, Mo, Yang and Sun.


  • congenital heart disease
  • diffusion weighted imaging
  • neonate
  • neurodevelopment
  • radiomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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