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Journal Article

A comprehensive approach for correcting voxel‐wise b‐value errors in diffusion MRI


Weiskopf,  Nikolaus
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, United Kingdom;
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Lee, Y., Kettinger, A. O., Wilm, B. J., Deichmann, R., Weiskopf, N., Lambert, C., et al. (2020). A comprehensive approach for correcting voxel‐wise b‐value errors in diffusion MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 83(6), 2173-2184. doi:10.1002/mrm.28078.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-7046-E

In diffusion MRI, the actual b‐value played out on the scanner may deviate from the nominal value due to magnetic field imperfections. A simple image‐based correction method for this problem is presented.

The apparent diffusion constant (ADC) of a water phantom was measured voxel‐wise along 64 diffusion directions at b = 1000 s/mm2. The true diffusion constant of water was estimated, considering the phantom temperature. A voxel‐wise correction factor, providing an effective b‐value including any magnetic field deviations, was determined for each diffusion direction by relating the measured ADC to the true diffusion constant. To test the method, the measured b‐value map was used to calculate the corrected voxel‐wise ADC for additionally acquired diffusion data sets on the same water phantom and data sets acquired on a small water phantom at three different positions. Diffusion tensor was estimated by applying the measured b‐value map to phantom and in vivo data sets.

The b‐value‐corrected ADC maps of the phantom showed the expected spatial uniformity as well as a marked improvement in consistency across diffusion directions. The b‐value correction for the brain data resulted in a 5.8% and 5.5% decrease in mean diffusivity and angular differences of the primary diffusion direction of 2.71° and 0.73° inside gray and white matter, respectively.

The actual b‐value deviates significantly from its nominal setting, leading to a spatially variable error in the common diffusion outcome measures. The suggested method measures and corrects these artifacts.