MR Visualisation of the Insula

The featured medical article is ‘MR Visualization of the Insula’ by Masahiro Nawata which is freely available here. Nawata begins by discussing the importance of better characterising deeper cerebral structures. Indeed Nawata writes that up until that point there was an inability to

‘display a covered stereo structure of the brain with an MRI-based approach’

The aim of this study are thus clearly stated – to display 3-d images of such a structure – in this case the Insular Cortex.

The method was divided into three parts – the scanning process, segmentation of the Insular Cortex and the final 3-d image construction. What I found quite interesting was that the software had to be written specifically for this task given the deeper location of the Insula Cortex. A 1 Tesla scanner was used for image acquisition (7T scanners are used in a number of departments currently).

The density of the various tissues, grey and white matter and CSF were used to distinguish one tissue type from another. The density gradients were adjusted so that the grey matter was separated from the CSF. However even with this technique the frontal operculum was misidentified as Insular Cortex and some further adjustments were made to the extraction process.

The author then shows a screenshot of the resulting 3d images produced and suggests that this process may have clinical benefits. This study may be of significance in interpretation of some other studies looking at the Insular Cortex.



The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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