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Previous research has shown that measuring the size and content of patients’ drawings of their illness can reveal their perceptions and predict recovery. This study aimed to assess the usefulness of analyzing kinematic features of drawings.
A pilot observational study was conducted with 15 patients who had been hospitalized with a stroke 8 to 11 months previously. They were asked to draw a picture of what they thought had happened to their brain and describe the drawing using an electronic inking pen and digitizing tablet. Analysis of kinematic data (time to draw/write, drawing/writing speed, and pen pressure) was conducted using MovAlyzeR® software. Evaluations of physical functioning, quality of life, illness perceptions, and emotional well-being were administered, and correlations with kinematic measures assessed.
Stronger pen pressure was associated with perceptions of greater control over the stroke. Faster drawing was correlated with greater worry about a recurrent stroke and the perception that the effects of the stroke would last longer. Needing more time to write was associated with perceptions of fewer consequences of the stroke. No associations between kinematic measures and indicators of stroke severity, physical, or emotional well-being were shown.
Kinematic measures of stroke patients’ drawings of their brain and comments were associated with illness perceptions and not measures of physical or emotional health status. The addition of kinematic analysis may add further utility to the assessment of patients’ drawings of their illness. More studies need to be performed with larger sample sizes and other patient groups.
In this study, we investigated the feasibility of using a 1.5 Tesla (T) clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for in vivo assessment of three histopathologically different brain tumor models in mice.
We selected mouse models in which tumor growth was observed in different intracranial compartments: Patched+/- heterozygous knock-out mice for tumor growth in the cerebellum (n = 5); U87 MG human astrocytoma cells xenografted to the frontal lobe of athymic mice (n =15); and F5 (n = 15) or IOMM-Lee (n = 15) human malignant meningioma cells xenotransplanted to the athymic mouse skull base or convexity. Mice were imaged using a small receiver surface coil and a clinical 1.5 T MRI system. T1- and fast spin echo T2-weighted image sequences were obtained in all animals. Gadolinium was injected via tail vein to better delineate the intracranial tumors. Twenty mice were followed by serial MRI to study tumor growth over time. In these mice, images were typically performed after tumor implantation, and at two week intervals. Mice were euthanized following their last imaging procedure, and their tumors were examined by histopathology. The histopathological preparations were then compared to the last MR images to correlate the imaging features with the pathology.
Magnetic resonance imaging delineated the tumors in the cerebellum, frontal lobes and skull base in all mouse models. The detection of intracranial tumors was enhanced with prior administration of gadolinium, and the limit of resolution of brain tumors in the mice was 1-2 mm3. Sequential images performed at different time intervals showed progressive tumor growth in all animals. The MR images of tumor size and location correlated accurately with the results of the histopathological analysis.
Magnetic resonance imaging of murine brain tumors in different intracranial compartments is feasible with a 1.5 T clinical MR system and a specially designed surface coil. Tumors as small as 1-2 mm3 can be detected with good image resolution. Mice harbouring nascent brain tumors can be followed sequentially by serial MR imaging. This may allow for a noninvasive means by which tumor growth can be measured, and novel therapies tested without resorting to sacrifice of the mice.
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