Reliability on multiband diffusion NODDI models: a test Retest study on children and adults
Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI) and Bingham-NODDI diffusion MRI models are nowadays very well-known models in the field of diffusion MRI as they represent powerful tools for the estimation of brain microstructure. In order to efficiently translate NODDI imaging findings into the diagnostic clinical practice, a test-retest approach would be useful to assess reproducibility and reliability of NODDI biomarkers, thus providing validation on precision of different fitting
... oolboxes. In this context, we conducted a test-retest study with the aim to assess the effects of different factors (i.e. fitting algorithms, multiband acceleration, shell configuration, age of subject and hemispheric side) on diffusion models reliability, assessed in terms of Intra-class Correlation Coefficient (ICC) and Variation Factor (VF). To this purpose, data from pediatric and adult subjects were acquired with Simultaneous-MultiSlice (SMS) imaging method with two different acceleration factor (AF) and four b-values, subsequently combined in seven shell configurations. Data were then fitted with two different GPU-based algorithms to speed up the analysis. Results show that each factor investigated had a significant effect on reliability of several diffusion parameters. Particularly, both datasets reveal very good ICC values for higher AF, suggesting that faster acquisitions do not jeopardize the reliability and are useful to decrease motion artifacts. Although very small reliability differences appear when comparing shell configurations, more extensive diffusion parameters variability results when considering shell configuration with lower b-values, especially for simple model like NODDI. Also fitting tools have a significant effect on reliability, but their difference occurs in both datasets and AF, so it appears to be independent from either misalignment and motion artifacts, or noise and SNR. The main achievement of the present study is to show how 10 minutes multi-shell diffusion MRI acquisition for NODDI acquisition can have reliable results in WM. More complex models do not appear to be more prone to less data acquisition as well as noisier data thus stressing the idea of Bingham-NODDI having greater sensitivity to true subject variability.