3 years ago

Four in vivo g-ratio-weighted imaging methods: Comparability and repeatability at the group level

Siawoosh Mohammadi, Isabel Ellerbrock
A recent method, denoted in vivo g-ratio-weighted imaging, has related the microscopic g-ratio, only accessible by ex vivo histology, to noninvasive MRI markers for the fiber volume fraction (FVF) and myelin volume fraction (MVF). Different MRI markers have been proposed for g-ratio weighted imaging, leaving open the question which combination of imaging markers is optimal. To address this question, the repeatability and comparability of four g-ratio methods based on different combinations of, respectively, two imaging markers for FVF (tract-fiber density, TFD, and neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, NODDI) and two imaging markers for MVF (magnetization transfer saturation rate, MT, and, from proton density maps, macromolecular tissue volume, MTV) were tested in a scan–rescan experiment in two groups. Moreover, it was tested how the repeatability and comparability were affected by two key processing steps, namely the masking of unreliable voxels (e.g., due to partial volume effects) at the group level and the calibration value used to link MRI markers to MVF (and FVF). Our data showed that repeatability and comparability depend largely on the marker for the FVF (NODDI outperformed TFD), and that they were improved by masking. Overall, the g-ratio method based on NODDI and MT showed the highest repeatability (90%) and lowest variability between groups (3.5%). Finally, our results indicate that the calibration procedure is crucial, for example, calibration to a lower g-ratio value (g = 0.6) than the commonly used one (g = 0.7) can change not only repeatability and comparability but also the reported dependency on the FVF imaging marker. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23858

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