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Fractal anatomy of the hippocampal formation.

PURPOSE: We believed that the hippocampal complex is a fractal, and we try to demonstrate it.

METHODS: We selected 12 magnetic resonance (MR) studies from healthy brains. Five women and 7 men without neurological or psychiatric disease were analyzed. The age range was 50-71 years old, with a mean 57.1 ± 7.6 years. Image series of MR were obtained through 3D SPGR in scanner GE Singa 3.0 T (general Electric, USA), matrix acquisition 512 Å-512 Å-120, field size 240 mm, voxel size 0.47 mm Å-0.47 mm Å-1.2 mm, repetition time of 13 ms and eco time of 5.6 ms. The MRI were imported in DICOM format in the OsiriXsoftware where they were contoured. Post processing was done with ImageJ software; Box Counting method for fractal analysis and we also used the Box Counting method of the BoneJ plugin.

RESULTS: All of the hippocampus analyzed were a fractal. The fractal dimension analysis distribution of the measurements had a central tendency. The mean of hippocampal fractal dimension was 1.32635, the range was from 1.3373 to 1.5344. We found a short interval of variability in the hippocampal fractal number.

CONCLUSIONS: The hippocampal complex is a fractal. The fractal analysis must be an objective measurement that can help us as a descriptive tool in hippocampal anatomy and maybe in a close future in the diagnosis of anatomical alterations.

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