DTI Quality Control Assessment via Error Estimation From Monte Carlo Simulations.

TitleDTI Quality Control Assessment via Error Estimation From Monte Carlo Simulations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFarzinfar M, Li Y, Verde AR, Oguz I, Gerig G, Styner MA
JournalProceedings - Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Date Published2013 Mar 13

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is currently the state of the art method for characterizing microscopic tissue structure in the white matter in normal or diseased brain in vivo. DTI is estimated from a series of Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) volumes. DWIs suffer from a number of artifacts which mandate stringent Quality Control (QC) schemes to eliminate lower quality images for optimal tensor estimation. Conventionally, QC procedures exclude artifact-affected DWIs from subsequent computations leading to a cleaned, reduced set of DWIs, called DWI-QC. Often, a rejection threshold is heuristically/empirically chosen above which the entire DWI-QC data is rendered unacceptable and thus no DTI is computed. In this work, we have devised a more sophisticated, Monte-Carlo simulation based method for the assessment of resulting tensor properties. This allows for a consistent, error-based threshold definition in order to reject/accept the DWI-QC data. Specifically, we propose the estimation of two error metrics related to directional distribution bias of Fractional Anisotropy (FA) and the Principal Direction (PD). The bias is modeled from the DWI-QC gradient information and a Rician noise model incorporating the loss of signal due to the DWI exclusions. Our simulations further show that the estimated bias can be substantially different with respect to magnitude and directional distribution depending on the degree of spatial clustering of the excluded DWIs. Thus, determination of diffusion properties with minimal error requires an evenly distributed sampling of the gradient directions before and after QC.

Alternate JournalProc Soc Photo Opt Instrum Eng