Fenglian Zheng, Dong Cui, Zilong Yuan, Li Zhang, Jianfeng Qiu, Xiaodong Gao, Jindong Xie, Chen Zhang, Xiaojing Liu, Weizhao Lu
Generalized q-sampling (GQI) and connectometry analysis provide new indices, i.e., quantitative anisotropy (QA) and spin distribution function (SDF) in comparison with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). They may provide more age-related changes in white matter (WM) in aging.
To investigate the feasibility of using GQI and connectometry analysis to determine WM properties changes in aging.
Fifty normal adults (27 females) aged 21–71 years.
T1-weighted images (T1WI) and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) images were acquired at 1.5T.
HARDI data were analyzed using DTI and GQI to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA), QA, fiber numbers, and fiber lengths for tract analysis and using q-space diffeomorphic reconstruction (QSDR) for the connectometry analysis. We compared differences of DTI, GQI, and connectometry analysis to reflect WM changes in aging.
Associations between FA, QA, and fiber numbers and lengths and age were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficients. The connectometry analysis was conducted using a multiple linear regression analysis, including age and gender as factors. Uncorrected P-value/false discovery rate (FDR) (corrected for multiple comparisons) < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
More regional changes were detected in FA related to age than changes in QA (17 > 6 regions, P < 0.05). Fewer regional changes in fiber numbers and more changes of fiber lengths were observed for DTI than for GQI (5 < 8/10 > 7 regions, P < 0.05). However, DTI and GQI analyses revealed consistent results in some regions, including the genu of the corpus callosum (GCC), body of the corpus callosum (BCC), fornix (Fx), and anterior coronal radiation (ACR) (P < 0.05). The connectometry analysis showed more tract changes associated with age at an FDR of 0.05, which partially overlapped with the FA and QA.
GQI and connectometry provide more information about age-related tracts and complement the DTI findings.
Level of Evidence: 2
Technical Efficacy: Stage 2
J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018.