4 years ago

Fractional anisotropy derived from the diffusion tensor distribution function boosts power to detect Alzheimer's disease deficits

Paul M. Thompson, Dmitry Isaev, Clifford R. Jack, Julio E. Villalon-Reina, Liang Zhan, Talia M. Nir, Neda Jahanshad, Michael W. Weiner, Alex D. Leow, Artemis Zavaliangos-Petropulu,
Purpose In diffusion MRI (dMRI), fractional anisotropy derived from the single-tensor model (FADTI) is the most widely used metric to characterize white matter (WM) microarchitecture, despite known limitations in regions with crossing fibers. Due to time constraints when scanning patients in clinical settings, high angular resolution diffusion imaging acquisition protocols, often used to overcome these limitations, are still rare in clinical population studies. However, the tensor distribution function (TDF) may be used to model multiple underlying fibers by representing the diffusion profile as a probabilistic mixture of tensors. Methods We compared the ability of standard FADTI and TDF-derived FA (FATDF), calculated from a range of dMRI angular resolutions (41, 30, 15, and 7 gradient directions), to profile WM deficits in 251 individuals from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and to detect associations with 1) Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, 2) Clinical Dementia Rating scores, and 3) average hippocampal volume. Results Across angular resolutions and statistical tests, FATDF showed larger effect sizes than FADTI, particularly in regions preferentially affected by Alzheimer's disease, and was less susceptible to crossing fiber anomalies. Conclusion The TDF “corrected” form of FA may be a more sensitive and accurate alternative to the commonly used FADTI, even in clinical quality dMRI data. Magn Reson Med 78:2322–2333, 2017. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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

DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26623

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