TU-C-12A-07: Characterization of Longitudinal Reproducibility of Quantitative Diffusion Imaging Data Acquired with Four Different Protocols Using a Phantom




To characterize and compare the longitudinal reproducibility of diffusion imaging data acquired with four different protocols using a phantom.


The Diffusive Quantitative Imaging Phantom (DQIP) was constructed using fifteen cylindrical compartments within a larger compartment, filled with deionized water doped with CuSO4 and NaCl. The smaller compartments contained arrays of hexagonal or cylindrical glass capillaries of varying inner diameters, for differing restraint of water diffusion. The sensitivity of diffusion imaging metrics to signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was probed by doping compartments with differing ratios of deuterium oxide to H2O. A cork phantom enclosure was constructed to increase thermal stability during scanning and a cork holder was made to reproduce scanner positioning. Four different protocols of DWI (diffusion weighted imaging) and DTI (Diffusion tensor imaging) imaging were assembled on a GE Excite HDx 3.0T MRI scanner to collect imaging data over 9-10 days. Data was processed with in-house software created in Matlab to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values.


All DTI and DWI sequences showed good longitudinal stability of mean FA and ADC values per compartment, exhibiting low standard deviation ∼9%. A t-test was performed to compare mean FA values from the DTI clinical protocol to those of the DTI special protocol, indicating significantly different values in the majority of compartments. ANOVA performed on ADC values for all DTI and DWI sequences also showed significantly different values in a majority of compartments.


This work has the potential for quantifying systemic variations between diffusion imaging sequences from different platforms. Characterization of DWI and DTI performance were done over four sequences with predictable results. This data suggests that the DQIP phantom may be a reliable method of monitoring day-to-day and scan-to-scan variation in diffusion imaging sequences from different platforms.

Schott Glass North America and The Phantom Laboratory have donated materials and personnel time to this project.