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Is it Time to Switch Your T1W Sequence? Assessing the Impact of Prospective Motion Correction on the Reliability and Quality of Structural Imaging

By Lei Ai, R. Cameron Craddock, Nim Tottenham, Jonathan P Dyke, Stanley Colcombe, Michael Milham, Alexandre R. Franco

Posted 10 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/666289

New large neuroimaging studies, such as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD) and Human Connectome Project (HCP) Development studies are adopting a new T1-weighted imaging sequence with prospective motion correction (PMC) in favor of the more traditional 3-Dimensional Magnetization-Prepared Rapid Gradient-Echo Imaging (MPRAGE) sequence. In this study, we used a developmental dataset (ages 5-21, N=348) from the Healthy Brain Network Initiative and directly compared the MPRAGE and MPRAGE with PMC (MPRAGE+PMC) sequences to determine if the morphometric measurements obtained from both protocols are equivalent or if there is an advantage to use one. The sequences were also compared through quality control measurements. Inter- and intra-sequence reliability were assessed with another set of participants (N=71) that performed two MPRAGE and two MPRAGE+PMC sequences within the same imaging session, with one MPRAGE (MPRAGE1) and MPRAGE+PMC (MPRAGE+PMC1) pair at the beginning of the session and another pair (MPRAGE2 and MPRAGE+PMC2) at the end of the session. With morphometric measurements such as volume and cortical thickness, Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) scores showed that intra-sequence reliability is the highest with the MPRAGE+PMC sequences and lowest with the MPRAGE sequences. Regarding inter-sequence reliability, ICC scores were higher for the MPRAGE1-MPRAGE+PMC1 pair at the beginning of the session than the MPRAGE1-MPRAGE2 pair, possibly due to the higher motion artifacts in the MPRAGE2 run. Results also indicate that the MPRAGE+PMC sequence is robust, but not foolproof, to high head motion. For quality control metrics, the traditional MPRAGE presented better results than MPRAGE+PMC in 5 of the 7 measurements. In conclusion, morphometric measurements evaluated here showed high inter-sequence reliability between the MPRAGE and MPRAGE+PMC sequences, especially in images with low head motion. Researchers conducting studies with highly kinetic populations are highly recommended to use the MPRAGE+PMC sequence, due to its robustness to head motion and higher reliability scores. However, due to potential higher quality control measures, neuroimaging researchers with low head motion participants can still consider using the MPRAGE sequence, however, can also choose to use the MPRAGE+PMC sequence to increase the reliability of the data. Highlights

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