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Reliability of spinal cord measures based on synthetic T$_{1}$-weighted MRI derived from multiparametric mapping (MPM)


Schading, Simon; Seif, Maryam; Leutritz, Tobias; Hupp, Markus; Curt, Armin; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Freund, Patrick (2023). Reliability of spinal cord measures based on synthetic T$_{1}$-weighted MRI derived from multiparametric mapping (MPM). NeuroImage, 271:120046.

Abstract

Short MRI acquisition time, high signal-to-noise ratio, and high reliability are crucial for image quality when scanning healthy volunteers and patients. Cross-sectional cervical cord area (CSA) has been suggested as a marker of neurodegeneration and potential outcome measure in clinical trials and is conventionally measured on T$_{1}$-weigthed 3D Magnetization Prepared Rapid Acquisition Gradient-Echo (MPRAGE) images. This study aims to reduce the acquisition time for the comprehensive assessment of the spinal cord, which is typically based on MPRAGE for morphometry and multi-parameter mapping (MPM) for microstructure. The MPRAGE is replaced by a synthetic T$_{1}$-w MRI (synT$_{1}$-w) estimated from the MPM, in order to measure CSA. SynT$_{1}$-w images were reconstructed using the MPRAGE signal equation based on quantitative maps of proton density (PD), longitudinal (R$_{1}$) and effective transverse (R$_{2}$*) relaxation rates. The reliability of CSA measurements from synT$_{1}$-w images was determined within a multi-center test-retest study format and validated against acquired MPRAGE scans by assessing the agreement between both methods. The response to pathological changes was tested by longitudinally measuring spinal cord atrophy following spinal cord injury (SCI) for synT$_{1}$-w and MPRAGE using linear mixed effect models. CSA measurements based on the synT$_{1}$-w MRI showed high intra-site (Coefficient of variation [CoV]: 1.43% to 2.71%) and inter-site repeatability (CoV: 2.90% to 5.76%), and only a minor deviation of -1.65 mm$^{2}$ compared to MPRAGE. Crucially, by assessing atrophy rates and by comparing SCI patients with healthy controls longitudinally, differences between synT$_{1}$-w and MPRAGE were negligible. These results demonstrate that reliable estimates of CSA can be obtained from synT$_{1}$-w images, thereby reducing scan time significantly.

Abstract

Short MRI acquisition time, high signal-to-noise ratio, and high reliability are crucial for image quality when scanning healthy volunteers and patients. Cross-sectional cervical cord area (CSA) has been suggested as a marker of neurodegeneration and potential outcome measure in clinical trials and is conventionally measured on T$_{1}$-weigthed 3D Magnetization Prepared Rapid Acquisition Gradient-Echo (MPRAGE) images. This study aims to reduce the acquisition time for the comprehensive assessment of the spinal cord, which is typically based on MPRAGE for morphometry and multi-parameter mapping (MPM) for microstructure. The MPRAGE is replaced by a synthetic T$_{1}$-w MRI (synT$_{1}$-w) estimated from the MPM, in order to measure CSA. SynT$_{1}$-w images were reconstructed using the MPRAGE signal equation based on quantitative maps of proton density (PD), longitudinal (R$_{1}$) and effective transverse (R$_{2}$*) relaxation rates. The reliability of CSA measurements from synT$_{1}$-w images was determined within a multi-center test-retest study format and validated against acquired MPRAGE scans by assessing the agreement between both methods. The response to pathological changes was tested by longitudinally measuring spinal cord atrophy following spinal cord injury (SCI) for synT$_{1}$-w and MPRAGE using linear mixed effect models. CSA measurements based on the synT$_{1}$-w MRI showed high intra-site (Coefficient of variation [CoV]: 1.43% to 2.71%) and inter-site repeatability (CoV: 2.90% to 5.76%), and only a minor deviation of -1.65 mm$^{2}$ compared to MPRAGE. Crucially, by assessing atrophy rates and by comparing SCI patients with healthy controls longitudinally, differences between synT$_{1}$-w and MPRAGE were negligible. These results demonstrate that reliable estimates of CSA can be obtained from synT$_{1}$-w images, thereby reducing scan time significantly.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 May 2023
Deposited On:13 Apr 2023 13:39
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120046
PubMed ID:36948280
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)