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The efficiency of retrospective artifact correction methods in improving the statistical power of between-group differences in spinal cord DTI

MPG-Autoren
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Freund,  Patrick
Balgrist Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland;
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom;
Department of Brain Repair & Rehabilitation, University College London, United Kingdom;
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

Mohammadi,  Siawoosh
Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany;
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom;
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Gergely_Freund_2017.pdf
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Zitation

Gergely, D., Freund, P., & Mohammadi, S. (2017). The efficiency of retrospective artifact correction methods in improving the statistical power of between-group differences in spinal cord DTI. NeuroImage, 158, 296-307. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.051.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-071B-6
Zusammenfassung
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a promising approach for investigating the white matter microstructure of the spinal cord. However, it suffers from severe susceptibility, physiological, and instrumental artifacts present in the cord. Retrospective correction techniques are popular approaches to reduce these artifacts, because they are widely applicable and do not increase scan time. In this paper, we present a novel outlier rejection approach (reliability masking) which is designed to supplement existing correction approaches by excluding irreversibly corrupted and thus unreliable data points from the DTI index maps. Then, we investigate how chains of retrospective correction techniques including (i) registration, (ii) registration and robust fitting, and (iii) registration, robust fitting, and reliability masking affect the statistical power of a previously reported finding of lower fractional anisotropy values in the posterior column and lateral corticospinal tracts in cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) patients. While established post-processing steps had small effect on the statistical power of the clinical finding (slice-wise registration: −0.5%, robust fitting: +0.6%), adding reliability masking to the post-processing chain increased it by 4.7%. Interestingly, reliability masking and registration affected the t-score metric differently: while the gain in statistical power due to reliability masking was mainly driven by decreased variability in both groups, registration slightly increased variability. In conclusion, reliability masking is particularly attractive for neuroscience and clinical research studies, as it increases statistical power by reducing group variability and thus provides a cost-efficient alternative to increasing the group size.