Article ID: mp.2017-0078
Purpose: To compare the accuracy of fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values between reduced FOV or so-called zonally oblique multislice (ZOOM) and conventional diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in the cervical spinal cord.
Methods: Both ZOOM and conventional DTI were performed on 10 healthy volunteers. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to evaluate the reliability of the measurements obtained. Four radiologists evaluated the FA and ADC values at each cervical cord level and classified the visibility by 4 ranks. The geometric distortion ratios of the long axis and short axis were compared between ZOOM and conventional DTI. The imaging parameters were as follows: b-value = 600 s/mm2; TR = 4500 ms; TE = 81 ms; FOV = 70 × 47 mm2 / 200 × 200 mm2; matrix = 80 × 51 / 128 × 126 (ZOOM and conventional DTI, respectively). The region of interest was carefully drawn inside the spinal cord margin to exclude the spinal cord component, without excluding the white matter fiber tracts.
Results: The average FA value decreased in both ZOOM and conventional DTI in lower spinal cord levels; in contrast, the ADC value increased in lower spinal cord levels. Zonally oblique multislice DTI was superior to conventional DTI with regard to inter-rater and intra-rater reliability; further, visibility was better and the standard deviation was smaller in ZOOM DTI. On both the long and short axis, the geometric distortion ratio was lower in ZOOM DTI at all cervical spinal cord levels compared with the conventional DTI. There was a significant difference in the distortion ratios of the long and short axis between ZOOM and conventional DTI.
Conclusion: Conventional DTI is unreliable owing to its susceptibility to the surrounding magnetic field. ZOOM DTI is reliable for performing highly accurate evaluations.