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Data_Sheet_1_Sensitivity of Diffusion MRI to White Matter Pathology: Influence of Diffusion Protocol, Magnetic Field Strength, and Processing Pipeline.pdf (8.54 MB)

Data_Sheet_1_Sensitivity of Diffusion MRI to White Matter Pathology: Influence of Diffusion Protocol, Magnetic Field Strength, and Processing Pipeline in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.pdf

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posted on 2022-04-26, 05:53 authored by Evgenios N. Kornaropoulos, Stefan Winzeck, Theodor Rumetshofer, Anna Wikstrom, Linda Knutsson, Marta M. Correia, Pia C. Sundgren, Markus Nilsson

There are many ways to acquire and process diffusion MRI (dMRI) data for group studies, but it is unknown which maximizes the sensitivity to white matter (WM) pathology. Inspired by this question, we analyzed data acquired for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) at 3T (3T-DTI and 3T-DKI) and DTI at 7T in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthy controls (HC). Parameter estimates in 72 WM tracts were obtained using TractSeg. The impact on the sensitivity to WM pathology was evaluated for the diffusion protocol, the magnetic field strength, and the processing pipeline. Sensitivity was quantified in terms of Cohen's d for group comparison. Results showed that the choice of diffusion protocol had the largest impact on the effect size. The effect size in fractional anisotropy (FA) across all WM tracts was 0.26 higher when derived by DTI than by DKI and 0.20 higher in 3T compared with 7T. The difference due to the diffusion protocol was larger than the difference due to magnetic field strength for the majority of diffusion parameters. In contrast, the difference between including or excluding different processing steps was near negligible, except for the correction of distortions from eddy currents and motion which had a clearly positive impact. For example, effect sizes increased on average by 0.07 by including motion and eddy correction for FA derived from 3T-DTI. Effect sizes were slightly reduced by the incorporation of denoising and Gibbs-ringing removal (on average by 0.011 and 0.005, respectively). Smoothing prior to diffusion model fitting generally reduced effect sizes. In summary, 3T-DTI in combination with eddy current and motion correction yielded the highest sensitivity to WM pathology in patients with SLE. However, our results also indicated that the 3T-DKI and 7T-DTI protocols used here may be adjusted to increase effect sizes.

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