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MTE-NODDI: Multi-TE NODDI for disentangling non-T2-weighted signal fractions from compartment-specific T2 relaxation times

Gong, T; Tong, Q; He, H; Sun, Y; Zhong, J; Zhang, H; (2020) MTE-NODDI: Multi-TE NODDI for disentangling non-T2-weighted signal fractions from compartment-specific T2 relaxation times. NeuroImage , 217 , Article 116906. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116906. Green open access

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Abstract

Neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) has become a popular diffusion MRI technique for investigating microstructural alternations during brain development, maturation and aging in health and disease. However, the NODDI model of diffusion does not explicitly account for compartment-specific T2 relaxation and its model parameters are usually estimated from data acquired with a single echo time (TE). Thus, the NODDI-derived measures, such as the intra-neurite signal fraction, also known as the neurite density index, could be T2-weighted and TE-dependent. This may confound the interpretation of studies as one cannot disentangle differences in diffusion from those in T2 relaxation. To address this challenge, we propose a multi-TE NODDI (MTE-NODDI) technique, inspired by recent studies exploiting the synergy between diffusion and T2 relaxation. MTE-NODDI could give robust estimates of the non-T2-weighted signal fractions and compartment-specific T2 values, as demonstrated by both simulation and in vivo data experiments. Results showed that the estimated non-T2 weighted intra-neurite fraction and compartment-specific T2 values in white matter were consistent with previous studies. The T2-weighted intra-neurite fractions from the original NODDI were found to be overestimated compared to their non-T2-weighted estimates; the overestimation increases with TE, consistent with the reported intra-neurite T2 being larger than extra-neurite T2. Finally, the inclusion of the free water compartment reduces the estimation error in intra-neurite T2 in the presence of cerebrospinal fluid contamination. With the ability to disentangle non-T2-weighted signal fractions from compartment-specific T2 relaxation, MTE-NODDI could help improve the interpretability of future neuroimaging studies, especially those in brain development, maturation and aging.

Type: Article
Title: MTE-NODDI: Multi-TE NODDI for disentangling non-T2-weighted signal fractions from compartment-specific T2 relaxation times
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116906
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116906
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Aging, Brain development, Brain maturation, Diffusion MRI, NODDI, T2 relaxation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098354
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