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Quality Control of Diffusion Weighted Images

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1 Quality Control of Diffusion Weighted Images
Zhexing Liua, Yi Wanga, Guido Gerigb, Sylvain Gouttardb, Ran Taob, Thomas Fletcherb, Martin Stynera,c aDepartment of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC bScientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT cDepartment of Computer Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 1 1

2 Outline 1. Introduction/Motivations 2. Methods/Pipeline
3. Tool & Results 4. Conclusion 5. Acknowledgements 2 2

3 1. Introduction/Motivations
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) has become an important MRI procedure to investigate brain white matter integrity in vivo. DTI is increasingly applied to brain studies of normal development, aging and pathological changes from various brain disorders. DTI is estimated from a series of Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) volumes collected by using (at least 6) non-collinear diffusion sensitizing gradients.

4 1. Introduction/Motivations
DWI suffers from several kinds of artifacts, such as eddy-current artifact, head motion artifact, bed vibration artifact, et al. These artifacts show up as slice-wise intensity abnormalities, motion between baseline and different gradients and also between interleaved fields within one gradient volume. Artifacts in DWI result in DTI estimation errors. Confusing artifactual appearances in tensor-derived maps (FA, MD, Eigen values and Eigen vectors).

5 1. Introduction/Motivations
Wrong tensor principle orientation and premature fiber tracking termination. Artifacts in DWI will finally produce bias in subsequent DTI analysis. Sometimes, artifacts are so severe that it is impossible to get good fidelity in estimating the DTI information of the brain under investigation. Thus a quality control procedure is a key preprocessing step to detect and correct the artifacts in DWI.

6 1. Introduction/Motivations
Currently, most of the DWI quality control procedures are conducted manually by visually checking the DWI data set in a gradient by gradient and slice by slice way. The QC results often suffer from low consistency across different data sets and insufficient inter-rater reliability of different expert QC raters. It is very difficult to judge motion artifacts across DWI scans by qualitative inspection only. Considerable manpower is needed due to the increasing number of gradients used and large number of subjects involved in one study.

7 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.1 Dicom to NRRD conversion
DicomToNrrdConverter in Slicer ( 2.2 Image information checking Checking common image information, such as sizes, origin, voxel spacing, space and space directional cosines Cropping/padding if necessary 2.3 Diffusion information checking Checking the b-value(s), diffusion sensitizing direction vectors and measurement frame Replacing the diffusion related information with those in acquisition protocol if necessary

8 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.4 Slice-wise intensity related artifacts checking …… We propose to use Normalized Correlation (NC) between successive slices across all the diffusion gradients for screening the intensity related artifacts.

9 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.5 Interlace-wise Venetian blind artifact checking Venetian blind like artifacts can be detected via correlations and motion parameters between the interleaved parts for each gradient volume.

10 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.6 Baseline averaging
Baseline images need to be averaged to be used as a registration template during the eddy-current artifact and head motion correction procedure. If there is motion between the baseline scans, they need to be registered before being averaged. 2.7 Eddy-current and head motion artifacts correction U. Utah: U. Iowa:

11 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.8 Gradient-wise checking
Motion artifact residuals after eddy-current and head motion corrections can be detected via motion parameters between baseline and each of the gradients.

12 2. Methods/Pipeline 2.9 DTI computation
Using DTIProcess toolkit ( DTI estimation (dtiestim) DTI property maps computation (dtiprocess): FA Color coded FA MD Frobenius Norm Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

13 3.Tool & Results DTIPrep is the tool we developed to implement the DWI QC pipeline ( ). DTIPrep is based on ITK, VTK and Qt 4. DTIPrep oversees graphical user interface handling, protocoling and reporting facilities. DTIPrep allows a “study-specific protocol” based execution via an xml formatted parameter file. DTIPrep can be run in standard interactive mode Command line mode is also available for standard automatic scripting.

14 3.Tool & Results p < 0.05

15 Examples of intensity artifacts detected with DTIPrep.
3.Tool & Results Examples of intensity artifacts detected with DTIPrep.

16 3.Tool & Results Color coded FA maps calculated from a real 6 month old DWI data set before and after QC using DTIPrep

17 4. Conclusion We have developed both a framework and a tool called DTIPrep for DWI QC. Our pipeline has been successfully applied to large scale DTI studies in our lab as well as collaborating labs in Utah and Iowa. In our studies, the tool provides a crucial piece for robust DTI analysis. As far as we know, this is the first comprehensive preprocessing tool for DWI QC. DTIPrep is available as open source within the UNC NeuroLib. A page ( in NITRC has been set up for collaborative improvement.

18 5. Acknowledgments Hans Johnson and his group at the University of Iowa. National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC, NIH U54 EB005149) Autism Centers of Excellence Network at UNC-CH (NIH R01 HD055741) Neurodevelopmental Research Center at UNC-CH (NIH P30 HD03110) National Institute of Mental Health Conte Center at UNC-CH(MH064065).

19 Thank you! 19

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