Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Computer Science and Engineering, PhD

Committee Chair

Elmaghraby, Adel

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

El-Baz, Ayman

Committee Member

Zhang, Harry

Committee Member

Barnes, Gregory

Committee Member

Park, Jun Won

Author's Keywords

MRA; hypertension prediction; tortuosity; cerebrovascular alterations; vessel diameter; CAD


Hypertension afflicts one in every three adults and is a leading cause of mortality in 516, 955 patients in USA. The chronic elevation of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) changes the cerebrovasculature of the brain and disrupts its vasoregulation mechanisms. Reported correlations between changes in smaller cerebrovascular vessels and hypertension may be used to diagnose hypertension in its early stages, 10-15 years before the appearance of symptoms such as cognitive impairment and memory loss. Specifically, recent studies hypothesized that changes in the cerebrovasculature and CPP precede the systemic elevation of blood pressure. Currently, sphygmomanometers are used to measure repeated brachial artery pressure to diagnose hypertension after its onset. However, this method cannot detect cerebrovascular alterations that lead to adverse events which may occur prior to the onset of hypertension. The early detection and quantification of these cerebral vascular structural changes could help in predicting patients who are at a high risk of developing hypertension as well as other cerebral adverse events. This may enable early medical intervention prior to the onset of hypertension, potentially mitigating vascular-initiated end-organ damage. The goal of this dissertation is to develop a novel efficient noninvasive computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system for the early prediction of hypertension. The developed CAD system analyzes magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) data of human brains gathered over years to detect and track cerebral vascular alterations correlated with hypertension development. This CAD system can make decisions based on available data to help physicians on predicting potential hypertensive patients before the onset of the disease.