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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010 Apr;31(4):711-9. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A1939. Epub 2009 Dec 24.

Pitfalls in the use of voxel-based morphometry as a biomarker: examples from huntington disease.

Author information

1
Dementia Research Centre, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

VBM is increasingly used in the study of neurodegeneration, and recently there has been interest in its potential as a biomarker. However, although it is largely "automated," VBM is rarely implemented consistently across studies, and changing user-specified options can alter the results in a way similar to the very biologic differences under investigation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This work uses data from patients with HD to demonstrate the effects of several user-specified VBM parameters and analyses: type and level of statistical correction, modulation, smoothing kernel size, adjustment for brain size, subgroup analysis, and software version.

RESULTS:

The results demonstrate that changing these options can alter results in a way similar to the biologic differences under investigation.

CONCLUSIONS:

If VBM is to be useful clinically or considered for use as a biomarker, there is a need for greater recognition of these issues and more uniformity in its application for the method to be both reproducible and valid.

PMID:
20037137
DOI:
10.3174/ajnr.A1939
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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