Principal component analysis denoising improves sensitivity of MR diffusion to detect white matter injury in neuroHIV

Ryan P. Bell, Christina S. Meade, Syam Gadde, Sheri L. Towe, Shana A. Hall, Nan kuei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Diffusion-weighted imaging is able to capture important information about cerebral white matter (WM) structure. However, diffusion data can suffer from MRI and biological noise that degrades the quality of the images and makes finding important features difficult. We investigated how effectively local and nonlocal denoising increased the sensitivity to detect differences in cerebral WM in neuroHIV. Methods: We utilized principal component analysis (PCA) denoising to detect WM differences using fractional anisotropy. Local and nonlocal PCA denoising paradigms were implemented that varied in search area and number of components. We examined different-sized WM tracts that consistently show differences between people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (PWH) and HIV-negative individuals (corpus callosum, forceps minor, and right uncinate fasciculus), and size-matched tracts not typically associated with HIV-related differences (spinothalamic, right medial lemniscus, and left occipitopontine). We first conducted a full sample comparison of WM differences between groups, and then randomly reduced the sample to the point where we still found differences in WM. Results: Nonlocal PCA denoising allowed us to detect differences after a sample reduction of 35% in the forceps minor, 17% in the right uncinate fasciculus, and 6% in the corpus callosum. Conclusions: PCA denoising had a beneficial effect on detecting significant differences in PWH after sample size reduction. The smaller forceps minor tract and right uncinate fasciculus showed greater sensitivity to PCA denoising than the larger corpus callosum. These results show the importance of identifying the most effective PCA denoising strategy when investigating WM in PWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-553
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • HIV
  • denoising
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • white matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Principal component analysis denoising improves sensitivity of MR diffusion to detect white matter injury in neuroHIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this