Brain morphometry reproducibility in multi-center 3 T MRI studies: A comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal segmentations
Advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have contributed greatly to the study of neurodegenerative processes, psychiatric disorders, and normal human development, but the effect of such improvements on the reliability of downstream morphometric measures has not been extensively studied. We examined how MRI-derived neurostructural measures are affected by three technological advancements: parallel acceleration, increased spatial resolution, and the use of a high bandwidth multiecho sequence. Test-retest data were collected from 11 healthy participants during 2 imaging sessions occurring approximately 2 weeks apart. We acquired 4 T1-weighted MP-RAGE sequences during each session: a non-accelerated anisotropic sequence (MPR), a non-accelerated isotropic sequence (ISO), an accelerated isotropic sequence (ISH), and an accelerated isotropic high bandwidth multiecho sequence (MEM). Cortical thickness and volumetric measures were computed for each sequence to assess test-retest reliability and measurement bias. Reliability was extremely high for most measures and similar across imaging parameters. Significant measurement bias was observed, however, between MPR and all isotropic sequences for all cortical regions and some subcortical structures. These results suggest that these improvements in MRI acquisition technology do not compromise data reproducibility, but that consistency should be maintained in choosing imaging parameters for structural MRI studies.