A comparative study of feature extraction and blind source separation of independent component analysis (ICA) on childhood brain tumour (1)H magnetic resonance spectra.

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Independent component analysis (ICA) has the potential of determining automatically the metabolite signals which make up MR spectra. However, the realiability with which this is accomplished and the optimal approach for investigating in vivo MRS have not been determined. Furthermore, the properties of ICA in brain tumour MRS with respect to dataset size and data quality have not been systematically explored. The two common techniques for applying ICA, blind source separation (BSS) and feature extraction (FE) were examined in this study using simulated data and the findings confirmed on patient data. Short echo time (TE 30 ms), low and high field (1.5 and 3 T) in vivo brain tumour MR spectra of childhood astrocytoma, ependymoma and medulloblastoma were generated by using a quantum mechanical simulator with ten metabolite and lipid components. Patient data (TE 30 ms, 1.5 T) were acquired from children with brain tumours. ICA of simulated data shows that individual metabolite components can be extracted from a set of MRS data. The BSS method generates independent components with a closer correlation to the original metabolite and lipid components than the FE method when the number of spectra in the dataset is small. The experiments also show that stable results are achieved with 300 MRS at an SNR equal to 10. The FE method is relatively insensitive to different ranges of full width at half maximum (FWHM) (from 0 to 3 Hz), whereas the BSS method degrades on increasing the range of FWHM. The peak frequency variations do not affect the results within the range of +/-0.08 ppm for the FE method, and +/-0.05 ppm for the BSS method. When the methods were applied to the patient dataset, results consistent with the synthesized experiments were obtained. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Original languageEnglish
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2009


  • feature extraction, in vivo H-1 MRS, independent component analysis (ICA), blind source separation, childhood brain tumour