Assessment of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging metrics in the brain through the use of a novel phantom.
OBJECTIVE: Multisite and longitudinal neuroimaging studies are important in uncovering trajectories of recovery and neurodegeneration following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion through the use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and other imaging modalities. This study assessed differences in anisotropic diffusion measurement across four scanners using a human and a novel phantom developed in conjunction with the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium. METHOD: Human scans provided measurement within biological tissue, and the novel physical phantom provided measures of anisotropic intra-tubular diffusion to serve as a model for intra-axonal water diffusion. Intra- and inter-scanner measurement variances were compared, and the impact on effect size was calculated. RESULTS: Intra-scanner test-retest reliability estimates for fractional anisotropy (FA) demonstrated relative stability over testing intervals. The human tissue and phantom showed similar FA ranges, high linearity and large within-device effect sizes. However, inter-scanner measures of FA indicated substantial differences, some of which exceeded typical DTI effect sizes in mild TBI. CONCLUSION: The diffusion phantom may be used to better elucidate inter-scanner variability in DTI-based measurement and provides an opportunity to better calibrate results obtained from scanners used in multisite and longitudinal studies. Novel solutions are being evaluated to understand and potentially overcome these differences.
Wilde, EA; Provenzale, JM; Taylor, BA; Boss, M; Zuccolotto, A; Hachey, R; Pathak, S; Tate, DF; Abildskov, TJ; Schneider, W
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