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CALLOT Virginie

CNRS Research Director (DR2)
PhD in physics, HDR

Spinal Cord MRI research group leader
LIA iLab-Spine / MRI Principal Investigator
tel : +33 4 91 38 84 65
Key Words
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Spinal Cord (SC)
- Multimodal MR techniques
- Neurodegenerative and traumatic SC pathologies
- High-field MRI

- SC template and probabilistic atlases

!! NEW : PhD position - DOC2AMU Call for candidates
Project SCRUM : Spinal Cord tissue alterations encountered in Rugby - Use of Magnetic resonance imaging and biomechanics.

Current Research Interest and Project : MULTIMODAL MR IMAGING OF THE SPINAL CORD

The general objective of the project is to improve the non invasive characterization of the spinal cord (SC) pathologies and to help in the description of the pathogenesis mechanisms and therapeutic effects using multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
The project relies on both methodological developments (MR techniques, post-processing tools such as probabilistic MR atlas) and applications leading to structural and functional information. The project is developed transversally, on mouse models using the 11.75T MR system, and on humans using research clinical (1.5T, 3T) and ultra-high field (7T) MR systems.
One part of the project additionally combines MR and biomechanical computational modeling in order to provide an extensive and multi-physic description of traumatic and degenerative SC pathologies (International Affiliated Laboratory (LIA) “iLab-Spine”, France/Canada).

  • Animal studies (cf. fig.2): New techniques, combining high temporal and spatial resolutions, have been investigated at 11.75T in order to better image and characterize the mouse SC. Developments included EPI-based diffusion (DTI, IVIM) and perfusion (ASL) SC imaging, as well as 1H-MRS spectroscopy. These methods have been validated through the investigation of healthy controls as well as preliminary experimental models of SC injury (hemisection, balloon compression).
    Further studies are currently conducted in experimental models of contusion/compression (PSI impactor) in order to identify the different pathophysiological mechanisms and their timelines, and to identify injury thresholds and new biomarkers or early predictors of potential recovery.

  • Morphometric studies and SC templates (cf. fig.3, fig.4): Morphometric characteristics of the spinal cord (CSA, WM/GM area, AP/RL diameters, shape..) have been investigated along the entire spinal cord (fig.3), leading to a normative morphometric database (age, gender) (available upon request) and to the identification of SC invariants.
    These studies also led to the elaboration of unique SC MR templates and SC probabilistic atlases of white and gray matters (named AMU15 and AMU40) (available upon request) (fig.4). These probabilistic WM/GM SC atlases have recently been integrated within the Spinal Cord Toolbox. All together, these templates provide a frame of reference for image registration and atlas-based MR quantification.
    Based on the AMU40 MR template, automatic WM/GM segmentation has also recently been proposed (see Taso et al. , Neuroimage 2015). Thereby, a TBM (tensor based morphometry) analysis has highlighted some evidence of local GM atrophy occuring with age (fig.5).

  • Ultra-high field (UHF) MRI (cf. fig.6, fig.7) : Further investigations directed toward very high resolution and new contrasts are currently conducted on our whole-body 7T MR system using a dedicated 8Tx/8Rx SC coil.

  • Patient studies (cf. fig. 8, fig.9) : New protocols including anatomical and parametric MRI (DTI, MT/ihMT) are investigated on both high and ultra-high field systems in order to better characterize human SC pathologies, in terms of diagnostic, prognostic and evaluation of the potential recovery. Current investigations more particularly concern cervical myelopathy (CSM), as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

  • Multi-physic approach: Part of the project, conducted in collaboration with the Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée (LBA, IFSTTAR/AMU) and the Trauma Center (APHM), now aims at combining new magnetic resonance (MR) imaging tools and biomechanical finite element modeling in order to provide an extensive description of traumatic and degenerative spinal cord (SC) pathologies.
    This approach is conducted within the "iLab-Spine" LIA (International Affiliated Laboratory), regrouping the CRMBM Spinal Cord team, LBA and AP-HM in Marseille (France) and ETS/HSC and EPM/HSJ in Montreal (Canada).

    Fig. 1 - SC Team (Spring 2017)

    SC team :
    Magali Bonhomme (M1 student) , Guillaume Duhamel (CR, CNRS), Olivier Girard (IR, Aix-Marseille University), Arnaud Le Troter (IR, CNRS), Simon Lévy (PhD student) , Aurélien Massire (postdoctoral fellow) , Lauriane Pini (MR technologist, CNRS), Jean-Philippe Ranjeva (Prof. Neurosciences, Aix-Marseille University), Henitsoa Rasoanandrianina (PhD student) , Patrick Viout (technician, AP-HM)

    Close collaborators :
  • Clinicians / AP-HM: Pr. PH. ROCHE (Neurosurgery), Pr. K. CHAUMOITRE (Radiology), Pr. B. AUDOIN et J. PELLETIER (Neurology), Dr. A. VERSCHUEREN et AM. GRAPPERON (Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases), Dr. JB. GRISOLI (Sports Medicine);
  • International Affiliated Lab / LIA iLab-Spine: PJ. Arnoux (LBA), Y. Petit (ETS/HSC), E. Wagnac (ETS), CE. Aubin (EPM/HSJ)
  • Past students : Manuel Taso (PhD student), Kathleen Perrin (ingénieur d’étude), Léo Fradet (postdoctoral fellow), Mohamed Tachrount (postdoctoral fellow)

    Recent results to be presented during the ISMRM meeting (Paris, 2018) :
  • A new rapid and high-resolution multi-slice inhomogeneous Magnetization Transfer protocol to evaluate diffuse and regional cervical cord myelination at 3T, by H. Rasoanandrianina, G. Duhamel, A. Massire, O. Girard, M. Guye, J. Pelletier, B. Audoin, V. Callot
  • In vivo visualization of white and gray matter sub-structures using fast quantitative T1 mapping of the human spinal cord at 7T with 300-µm in-plane resolution , by A. Massire , H. Rasoanandrianina, M. Taso, A. Le Troter, JP. Ranjeva, M. Guye, V. Callot

Picture gallery :

Fig. 2 - Multimodal SC MRI of a healthy mouse SC : anatomy, perfusion, diffusion and spectroscopy, from Callot et al. ISMRM 2012 .

Fig. 3 - Morphometric measurements along the entire SC, from Fradet et al. 2014

Fig. 4 - Probabilistic GM and WM SC atlas (AMU15), from Taso et al. 2014 .

Fig. 5 - (a) Processing pipeline for WM/GM segmentation with AMU40. (b) TBM analysis between young and elderly volunteers (red/yellow clusters indicat regions of atrophy in elderly subjects, from Taso et al. 2015 .

Fig. 6 - 7T preliminary results on human spinal cord, from Massire et al. Neuroimage 2016 .

Fig. 7 - Very high-resolution Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the cervical spinal cord acquired at 7T (400um in-plane resolution), from Massire et al. MRM 2018 .

Fig. 8 - Pre and post-operative anatomic and multi-parametric MRI of a patient suffering from cervical myelopathy, from Taso et al. ISMRM 2015 .

Fig. 9 - Multi-parametric MRI (DTI/ihMT/MT) of a healthy control and a patient suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), from Rasoanandrianina et al. NMR in Biomed 2017 .

Student awards :

  • An 8Tx/8Rx coil validation workflow toward Virtual Observation Points-based parallel transmission cervical spinal cord in vivo imaging at 7T, A. Massire , AK. Bitz , N. Boulant , D. Schüler , T. Wichmann , T. Troalen , JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot
    ISMRM Merit Award, Summa Cum Laude . ISMRM, Honolulu (USA), 2017.
  • Towards in vivo spinal cord cyto- and myelo-architecture deciphering using multimodal MRI parcellation at 7T, M. Taso, A. Massire, P. Besson, A. Le Troter, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot
    ISMRM Merit Award, Summa Cum Laude . ISMRM, Honolulu (USA), 2017.
  • Caractérisation structurelle, régionale et diffuse du cordon médullaire cervical entier en utilisant un protocole IRM multimodale à 3T, H. Rasoanandrianina, G. Duhamel, T. Feiweier, M. Taso, A. Massire, O. Girard, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot
    1er Prix Poster . SFRMBM, Bordeaux (France), 2016.
  • Vers une caractérisation multiphysique des pathologies médullaires humaines - couplage IRM multi-paramétrique / simulation biomécanique par éléments finis, M. Taso
    1er Prix de Thèse de la SFRMBM, 2016.
    Prix de Thèse AMU, 2016.
  • High-resolution quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of the human cervical spinal cord at 7T, A. Massire, M. Taso, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot
    ISMRM Merit Award, Summa Cum Laude . ISMRM, Singapore (Singapore), 2016.
  • Combining biomechanical finite element analysis and multi-parametric MRI to assess mechanical and structural damage in cervical spondylotic myelopathy, M. Taso, L. Fradet, A. Le Troter, JP. Ranjeva, K. Chaumoitre, PH. Roche, PJ. Arnoux, V. Callot
    ISMRM Merit Award, Magna Cum Laude . ISMRM, Singapore (Singapore), 2016.
  • Regional and age-related variations of the healthy spinal cord structure assessed by multimodal MRI (diffusion, inhomogeneous magnetization transfer), M. Taso, O. Girard, G. Duhamel, A. Le Troter, G. Ribeiro, T. Feiweier, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot.
    ISMRM Merit Award, Magna Cum Laude . ISMRM, Toronto, 2015.
  • Cervical myelopathy patient follow-up after decompressive surgery using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and inhomogeneous magnetization transfer (ihMT): preliminary application and results, M. Taso, O. Girard, G. Duhamel, T. Feiweier, PJ. Arnoux, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, K.Chaumoître, PH. Roche, V. Callot.
    ISMRM Merit Award, Magna Cum Laude . ISMRM, Toronto, 2015.
  • Validation of a 2D spinal cord probabilistic atlas. Application to FA measurement and VBM study of the GM atrophy occuring with age, M. Taso, A. Le Troter, M. Sdika, V. Fonov, J. Cohen-Adad, M. Guye, JP. Ranjeva, V. Callot.
    ISMRM Merit Award, Magna Cum Laude . ISMRM, Milan, 2014.
  • Construction of a Spinal Cord Human In Vivo Atlas based on high resolution MR images at cervical and thoracic levels : preliminary results, M.Taso, A. Le Troter, M. Sdika, JP. Ranjeva, M. Bernard, V. Callot.
    Young Investigator Award . ESMRMB 2013.

Grant supports

  • ARSEP, Association pour la Recherche sur la Sclérose En Plaques, 2017 MS3 :
    Toward a refined characterization of the Mechanisms of Spinal cord impairment in Multiple Sclerosis using ultra high field Magnetic Resonance system. In collaboration with the Service de Neurologie (Hôpital Timone, APHM)
  • Institut CARNOT STAR, 2017 Spine-Flex-Design :
    In collaboration with the Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée (LBA, UMRT 24, IFSTTAR-AMU) .
  • IRME, Institut pour la Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière, 2014 :
    Analyse des traumatismes médullaires chez la souris par une approche multiphysique combinant Imagerie par Résonance Magnétique (IRM) et Biomécanique. In collaboration with the Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée (LBA, UMRT 24, IFSTTAR-AMU) and the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement (ISM, UMR 7287, CNRS/AMU).
  • Fondation A*MIDEX, Investissements d’Avenir, 2013 (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02, PI. PJ Arnoux, LBA) / BSIP:
    Biomechanics and imaging of Spine Injury and Pathologies. In collaboration with the Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée (LBA, UMRT 24, IFSTTAR-AMU), Services de Neurochirurgie, Chirurgie générale et digestive et Pôle d’Imagerie (Hôpital Nord, APHM), Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, Ecole de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal, Centre de recherche de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur à Montréal and Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine (Montréal).
  • Fondation Aix-Marseille Université, Santé, Sport et Développement Durable 2013 / Chaire Neurotraumatismes / SCIMA:
    Spinal Cord Injury analysis by introducing a Multi-physic Approach combining magnetic resonance imaging and biomechanics. In collaboration with the Laboratoire de Biomécanique Appliquée (LBA, UMRT 24, IFSTTAR-AMU) and the Service de Neurochirurgie, Hôpital Nord, APHM.
  • ANR 2009 / Programme Blanc (ANR09-BLAN-0295-01) / TRAUMATISM:
    Investigation du TRAUmatisme Médullaire et de ses Altérations sensorimotrices par Tests fonctionnels et Imagerie/Spectroscopie par résonance Magnétique. In collaboration with the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement (ISM, UMR CNRS 6233, équipe "Plasticité des systèmes nerveux et musculaire") and the Service d’Anatomie Pathologique et de Neuropathologie, Hôpital de la Timone, APHM.
  • ANR 2006 / Programme Blanc (ANR06-BLAN-0267) / MRIMBglioma :
    Recherche de marqueurs spécifiques de l’évolutivité des tumeurs cérébrales chez l’homme par IRM et biologie moléculaire. In collaboration with the Service de NeuroOncologie (Pr. O. Chinot) and the Service d’Anatomie Pathologique et de Neuropathologie (Pr. D. Figarella-Branger), Hôpital de la Timone, APHM.
  • ARC 2006 / Programme Subventions (contrat 3928) :
    Détection précoce et non invasive des évolutions agressives et des améliorations post-thérapeutiques chez les gliomes de grade II et III (OMS).



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  • FELLAH S., CAUDAL D., DE PAULA A. M., DORY-LAUTREC P., FIGARELLA-BRANGER D., CHINOT O., METELLUS P., COZZONE P. J., CONFORT-GOUNY S., GHATTAS B., CALLOT V., GIRARD N. “Multimodal MR imaging (diffusion, perfusion, and spectroscopy): is it possible to distinguish oligodendroglial tumor grade and 1p/19q codeletion in the pretherapeutic diagnosis?”. AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology [En ligne]. July 2013. Vol. 34, n°7, p. 1326-1333. Disponible sur : < > (consulté le no date)

  • TACHROUNT M., DUHAMEL G., LAURIN J., MARQUESTE T., DE PAULA A. M., DECHERCHI P., COZZONE P. J., CALLOT V. “In vivo short TE localized (1) H MR spectroscopy of mouse cervical spinal cord at very high magnetic field (11.75 T).”. Magnetic resonance in medicine [En ligne]. May 2013. Vol. 69, n°5, p. 1226-1232. Disponible sur : < > (consulté le no date)


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  • DUHAMEL G., CALLOT V., TACHROUNT M., ALSOP D. C., COZZONE P. J. “Pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling at very high magnetic field (11.75 T) for high-resolution mouse brain perfusion imaging.”. Magnetic resonance in medicine [En ligne]. May 2012. Vol. 67, n°5, p. 1225-1236. Disponible sur : < > (consulté le no date)

  • FELLAH S., CALLOT V., VIOUT P., CONFORT-GOUNY S., SCAVARDA D., DORY-LAUTREC P., FIGARELLA-BRANGER D., COZZONE P. J., GIRARD N. “Epileptogenic brain lesions in children: the added-value of combined diffusion imaging and proton MR spectroscopy to the presurgical differential diagnosis.”. Child's nervous system: ChNS: official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery [En ligne]. February 2012. Vol. 28, n°2, p. 273-282. Disponible sur : < > (consulté le no date)


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  • FELLAH S., GIRARD N., CHINOT O., COZZONE P. J., CALLOT V. “Early evaluation of tumoral response to antiangiogenic therapy by arterial spin labeling perfusion magnetic resonance imaging and susceptibility weighted imaging in a patient with recurrent glioblastoma receiving bevacizumab.”. Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [En ligne]. 10 April 2011. Vol. 29, n°11, p. e308-311. Disponible sur : < > (consulté le no date)


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