In vivo basal ganglia volumetry through application of NURBS models to MR images

Giuseppe Anastasi, Giuseppina Cutroneo, Francesco Tomasello, Sebastiano Lucerna, AntonGiulio Vitetta, Placido Bramanti, Paolo Di Bella, Anna Parenti, Andrea Porzionato, Veronica Macchi, Raffaele De Caro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Volumetry of basal ganglia (BG) based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a sensitive marker in differential diagnosis of BG disorders. The non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) surfaces are mathematical representations of three-dimensional structures which have recently been applied in volumetric studies. In this study, a volumetric evaluation of BG based on NURBS was performed in 35 right-handed volunteers. We aimed to compare and validate this technique with respect to manual MRI volumetry and evaluate possible side differences between these structures. Intra- and interobserver biases less than 1.5% demonstrated the method's stability. The mean percentage differences between NURBS and manual methods were less than 1% for all the structures considered; however, the internal segments of the globus pallidus showed a mean percentage difference of about 1.7%. Rightward asymmetry was found for the caudate nucleus (mean±SD 3.20±0.20 cm3 vs. 3.10±0.19 cm3, P3 vs. 1.41±0.09 cm3, P3 and 1.68±0.12 cm3, P3 and 1.18±0.09 cm3, P3 vs. 0.31±0.05 cm3, P3 vs. 0.86±0.05 cm3, P3 vs. 3.39±0.17 cm3, P>0.05). The rightward asymmetry of the BG may be ascribed to the predominant use of the right hand. In conclusion, NURBS is an accurate and reliable method for quantitative volumetry of nervous structures. It offers the advantage of giving a three-dimensional representation of the structures examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-345
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Caudate nucleus
  • Globus pallidus
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Putamen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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