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J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 May;141(5):3323. doi: 10.1121/1.4983081.

Test-retest repeatability of human speech biomarkers from static and real-time dynamic magnetic resonance imaging.

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Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, 3740 McClintock Avenue, EEB 400, Los Angeles, California 90089-2560, USA.


Static anatomical and real-time dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (RT-MRI) of the upper airway is a valuable method for studying speech production in research and clinical settings. The test-retest repeatability of quantitative imaging biomarkers is an important parameter, since it limits the effect sizes and intragroup differences that can be studied. Therefore, this study aims to present a framework for determining the test-retest repeatability of quantitative speech biomarkers from static MRI and RT-MRI, and apply the framework to healthy volunteers. Subjects (n = 8, 4 females, 4 males) are imaged in two scans on the same day, including static images and dynamic RT-MRI of speech tasks. The inter-study agreement is quantified using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and mean within-subject standard deviation (σe). Inter-study agreement is strong to very strong for static measures (ICC: min/median/max 0.71/0.89/0.98, σe: 0.90/2.20/6.72 mm), poor to strong for dynamic RT-MRI measures of articulator motion range (ICC: 0.26/0.75/0.90, σe: 1.6/2.5/3.6 mm), and poor to very strong for velocities (ICC: 0.21/0.56/0.93, σe: 2.2/4.4/16.7 cm/s). In conclusion, this study characterizes repeatability of static and dynamic MRI-derived speech biomarkers using state-of-the-art imaging. The introduced framework can be used to guide future development of speech biomarkers. Test-retest MRI data are provided free for research use.

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