Toward more robust and reproducible diffusion kurtosis imaging

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  • Rafael N. Henriques, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal., Portugal
  • Sune N. Jespersen
  • Derek K. Jones, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  • Jelle Veraart, Department of Radiology, Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI), Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research (CAI2R), NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, USA., United States
Abstract Purpose The general utility of diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) is challenged by its poor robustness to imaging artifacts and thermal noise that often lead to implausible kurtosis values. Theory and Methods A robust scalar kurtosis index can be estimated from powder-averaged diffusion-weighted data. We introduce a novel DKI estimator that uses this scalar kurtosis index as a proxy for the mean kurtosis to regularize the fit. Results The regularized DKI estimator improves the robustness and reproducibility of the kurtosis metrics and results in parameter maps with enhanced quality and contrast. Conclusion Our novel DKI estimator promotes the wider use of DKI in clinical research and potentially diagnostics by improving the reproducibility and precision of DKI fitting and, as such, enabling enhanced visual, quantitative, and statistical analyses of DKI parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Pages (from-to)1600-1613
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

    Research areas

  • diffusion MRI, DKI, kurtosis, parameter estimation, robustness

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