Brain morphometry

Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 9 Dec 2019

Brain morphometry is the act of measuring various dimensions (typically volume) of parts of the brain. Historically, this was only performed post-mortem.  

In modern practice, this is performed in vivo using MRI. A volumetric scan of the brain (typically T1 weighted) is obtained and segmented into various regions and volumes calculated. These can then be compared to known normal values based on normal controls. 

Numerous techniques have been developed including: 

  • voxel-based morphometry (VBM)
  • deformation-based morphometry (DBM)
  • surface-based morphometry (SBM)
  • pattern-based morphometry (PBM)

The results can be presented in a variety of formats including numerical tables or z-score maps showing how many standard deviations a particular region is from the mean of the normal population. 

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