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Test-retest reliability of high spatial resolution diffusion tensor and diffusion kurtosis imaging

Journal article
Authors Pashtun Shahim
L. Holleran
J. H. Kim
D. L. Brody
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
Issue 1
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Keywords traumatic brain-injury, principal eigenvector measurements, fractional, anisotropy, axonal injury, neurochemical aftermath, military personnel, mean diffusivity, reproducibility, mri, model, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Neurology


We assessed the test-retest reliability of high spatial resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI). Diffusion MRI was acquired using a Siemens 3 Tesla Prisma scanner with 80 mT/m gradients and a 32-channel head coil from each of 3 concussive traumatic brain injury (cTBI) patients and 4 controls twice 0 to 24 days apart. Coefficients of variation (CoV) for DTI parameters were calculated in each DTI Studio parcellated white matter tract at 1.25 mm and 1.75 mm isotropic voxel resolution, as well as DKI parameters at 1.75 mm isotropic. Overall, fractional anisotropy had the best reliability, with mean CoV at 5% for 1.25 mm and 3.5% for 1.75 mm isotropic voxels. Mean CoV for the other DTI metrics were <7.0% for both 1.25 and 1.75 mm isotropic voxels. The mean CoV was <= 4.5% across the DKI metrics. In the commonly injured orbitofrontal and temporal pole regions CoV was <3.5% for all parameters. Thus, with appropriate processing, high spatial resolution advanced diffusion MRI has good to excellent test-retest reproducibility in both human cTBI patients and controls. However, further technical improvements will be needed to reliably discern the most subtle diffusion abnormalities, especially at high spatial resolution.

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