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Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Jan;38(1):12-26. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23350. Epub 2016 Aug 13.

Free water elimination improves test-retest reproducibility of diffusion tensor imaging indices in the brain: A longitudinal multisite study of healthy elderly subjects.

Author information

1
Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMEC), University of Trento, Rovereto, Italy.
2
Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
3
LENITEM Laboratory of Epidemiology, Neuroimaging, & Telemedicine-IRCCS San Giovanni di Dio-FBF, Brescia, Italy.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, Universitat de Barcelona and IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
5
Department of Neuroradiology and Magnetic Resonance Image core Facility, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
6
Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital Clínic, and IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
7
Department Geriatrics Neuroscience & Orthopedics, Catholic University, Policlinic Gemelli, Rome, Italy.
8
IRCSS S.Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy.
9
Center for Neuropsychological Research, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
10
LVR-Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Institutes and Clinics of the University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
11
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center (UMG), Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany.
12
Department of Neuroradiology, IRCSS San Martino University Hospital and IST, Genoa, Italy.
13
Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
14
Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Genetics and Mother-Child Health (DINOGMI), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
15
Pharmacology, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Aix-Marseille University-CNRS, UMR, Marseille, 7289, France.
16
CRMBM-CEMEREM, UMR 7339, Aix Marseille Université-CNRS, Marseille, France.
17
APHM, CHU Timone, Service de Neurologie et Neuropsychologie, Marseille, France.
18
Aix Marseille Université, Inserm, INS UMR_S 1106, Marseille, 13005, France.
19
Université de Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, U1171-Degenerative and vascular cognitive disorders, Lille, F-59000, France.
20
INSERM, Imagerie cérébrale et handicaps neurologiques, UMR 825, Toulouse, France.
21
Université de Toulouse, UPS, Imagerie cérébrale et handicaps neurologiques, UMR 825, CHU Purpan, Place du Dr Baylac, Toulouse Cedex 9, France.
22
Department of Neuroradiology, General Hospital, Verona, Italy.
23
Department of Neuroscience Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti, Italy.
24
Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies (ITAB), University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti, Italy.
25
IRCCS SDN, Naples, Italy.
26
University of Naples Parthenope, Naples, Italy.
27
Section of Neurology, Centre for Memory Disturbances, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.
28
Medical Physics Unit, Perugia General Hospital, Perugia, Italy.
29
Neuroradiology Unit, Perugia General Hospital, Perugia, Italy.
30
3rd Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
31
Interbalkan Medical Center of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
32
Department of Radiology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
33
Memory Clinic and LANVIE Laboratory of Neuroimaging of Aging, University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Free water elimination (FWE) in brain diffusion MRI has been shown to improve tissue specificity in human white matter characterization both in health and in disease. Relative to the classical diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) model, FWE is also expected to increase sensitivity to microstructural changes in longitudinal studies. However, it is not clear if these two models differ in their test-retest reproducibility. This study compares a bi-tensor model for FWE with DTI by extending a previous longitudinal-reproducibility 3T multisite study (10 sites, 7 different scanner models) of 50 healthy elderly participants (55-80 years old) scanned in two sessions at least 1 week apart. We computed the reproducibility of commonly used DTI metrics (FA: fractional anisotropy, MD: mean diffusivity, RD: radial diffusivity, and AXD: axial diffusivity), derived either using a DTI model or a FWE model. The DTI metrics were evaluated over 48 white-matter regions of the JHU-ICBM-DTI-81 white-matter labels atlas, and reproducibility errors were assessed. We found that relative to the DTI model, FWE significantly reduced reproducibility errors in most areas tested. In particular, for the FA and MD metrics, there was an average reduction of approximately 1% in the reproducibility error. The reproducibility scores did not significantly differ across sites. This study shows that FWE improves sensitivity and is thus promising for clinical applications, with the potential to identify more subtle changes. The increased reproducibility allows for smaller sample size or shorter trials in studies evaluating biomarkers of disease progression or treatment effects. Hum Brain Mapp 38:12-26, 2017.

KEYWORDS:

brain diffusion tensor imaging; free-water imaging; healthy elderly; longitudinal; multisite diffusion MRI; test-retest reproducibility

PMID:
27519630
PMCID:
PMC5493991
DOI:
10.1002/hbm.23350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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