Article

A study of diffusion tensor imaging by tissue-specific, smoothing-compensated voxel-based analysis

Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, Waisman Center, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 11/2008; 44(3):870-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.09.041
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Voxel-based analysis (VBA) is commonly used for statistical analysis of image data, including the detection of significant signal differences between groups. Typically, images are co-registered and then smoothed with an isotropic Gaussian kernel to compensate for image misregistration, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), to reduce the number of multiple comparisons, and to apply random field theory. Problems with typical implementations of VBA include poor tissue specificity from image misregistration and smoothing. In this study, we developed a new tissue-specific, smoothing-compensated (T-SPOON) method for the VBA of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data with improved tissue specificity and compensation for image misregistration and smoothing. When compared with conventional VBA methods, the T-SPOON method introduced substantially less errors in the normalized and smoothed DTI maps. Another confound of the conventional DTI-VBA is that it is difficult to differentiate between differences in morphometry and DTI measures that describe tissue microstructure. T-SPOON VBA decreased the effects of differential morphometry in the DTI VBA studies. T-SPOON and conventional VBA were applied to a DTI study of white matter in autism. T-SPOON VBA results were found to be more consistent with region of interest (ROI) measurements in the corpus callosum and temporal lobe regions. The T-SPOON method may be also applicable to other quantitative imaging maps such as T1 or T2 relaxometry, magnetization transfer, or PET tracer maps.

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