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Open Access 01-12-2022 | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Research

Reproducibility and feasibility of optic nerve diffusion MRI techniques: single-shot echo-planar imaging (EPI), readout-segmented EPI, and reduced field-of-view diffusion-weighted imaging

Authors: Fanglu Zhou, Qing Li, Xiaohui Zhang, Hongli Ma, Ge Zhang, Silin Du, Lijun Zhang, Thomas Benkert, Zhiwei Zhang

Published in: BMC Medical Imaging | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

Background

Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is an essential technique for optic nerve diseases. However, the image quality of optic nerve DWI is decreased by the distortions and artifacts associated with conventional techniques. In order to establish this method as a critical tool in optic nerve diseases, reproducibility and feasibility of new technical and conventional approaches of DWI need to be systematically investigated.

Methods

DWIs were acquired using ss-EPI, readout-segmented EPI (rs-EPI) DWI, and reduced field-of-view (rFOV) DWI. 26 volunteers (mean age 31.2 years) underwent repeated MRI examinations in order to assess scan–rescan reproducibility and accuracy. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values (three ROIs were measured on each side) were determined to evaluate the reproducibility of each sequence and the differences between the three techniques. To quantify the geometric distortion artifacts, the length of optic nerve and the maximum angle of optic nerve were defined and compared to T2-weighted imaging. In addition, two readers evaluated four different aspects of image quality on 5-point Likert scales.

Results

rs-EPI DWI (ICCs: 0.916, 0.797 and 0.781) and rFOV DWI (ICCs: 0.850, 0.595 and 0.750) showed higher reproducibility (ICCs: ROI1, ROI2 and ROI3) of mean ADC value in all three ROIs than ss-EPI DWI (ICCs: 0.810, 0.442 and 0.379). The quantitative analysis of geometric distortion yielded a higher agreement of both rs-EPI DWI and rFOV DWI with T2-weighted imaging than ss-EPI. rs-EPI DWI (2.38 ± 0.90) and rFOV DWI (2.46 ± 0.58) were superior to ss-EPI DWI (1.58 ± 0.64) with respect to overall image quality and other aspects of image quality, each with P < 0.05. The mean ADC values of rFOV DWI were significantly lower than those of rs-EPI DWI and ss-EPI DWI in all three ROIs (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Both rs-EPI DWI and rFOV-EPI DWI are suitable techniques for the assessment of diffusion restriction and provide significantly improved image quality compared with ss-EPI DWI. For methods using the same acquisition time, rFOV DWI is superior to ss-EPI DWI, while rs-EPI showed an overall superiority, although this technique took 47% longer to perform.
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Metadata
Title
Reproducibility and feasibility of optic nerve diffusion MRI techniques: single-shot echo-planar imaging (EPI), readout-segmented EPI, and reduced field-of-view diffusion-weighted imaging
Authors
Fanglu Zhou
Qing Li
Xiaohui Zhang
Hongli Ma
Ge Zhang
Silin Du
Lijun Zhang
Thomas Benkert
Zhiwei Zhang
Publication date
01-12-2022
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published in
BMC Medical Imaging / Issue 1/2022
Electronic ISSN: 1471-2342
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12880-022-00814-5

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