Analysis of variability of fractional anisotropy values at 3T using a novel diffusion tensor imaging phantom.
We employed a novel diffusion tensor imaging phantom to study intra- and interscanner reproducibility on two 3T magnetic resonance (MR) scanners. Using a phantom containing thousands of hollow micron-size tubes in complex arrays, we performed two experiments using a b value of 1000 s/ms2 on two Siemens 3T Trio scanners. First, we performed 12-direction scans. Second, on one scanner, we performed two 64-direction protocols with different repetition times (TRs). We used a one-way analysis of variance to calculate differences between scanners and the Mann-Whitney U test to assess differences between 12-direction and 64-direction data. We calculated the coefficient of variation (CoV) for intrascanner and interscanner data. For 12-direction protocols, mean fractional anisotropy (FA) was 0.3003 for Scanner 1 (four scans) and 0.3094 for Scanner 2 (three scans). Lowest FA value on Scanner 1 was 2.56 standard deviations below the mean of Scanner 2. For 64-direction scans, mean FA was 0.2640 for 4000 ms TR and 0.2582 for 13,200 ms TR scans. For 12-direction scans, within-scanner CoV was 0.0326 for Scanner 1 and 0.0240 for Scanner 2; between-scanner CoV was 0.032. For 64-direction scans, CoV was 0.056 for TR 4000 ms and 0.0533 for TR 13,200 ms. The difference between median FA values of 12-direction and 64-direction scans was statistically significant ( p < 0.001). We found relatively good reproducibility on any single MR scanner. FA values from one scanner were sometimes significantly below the mean FA of another scanner, which has important implications for clinical use of DTI.
Provenzale, JM; Taylor, BA; Wilde, EA; Boss, M; Schneider, W
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