Accuracy of q-space related parameters in MRI: simulations and phantom measurements

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2007 Nov;26(11):1437-47. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2007.907278.


The accuracy of q-space measurements was evaluated at a 3.0-T clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, as compared with a 4.7-T nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Measurements were performed using a stimulated-echo pulse-sequence on n-decane as well as on polyethylene glycol (PEG) mixed with different concentrations of water, in order to obtain bi-exponential signal decay curves. The diffusion coefficients as well as the modelled diffusional kurtosis K(fit) were obtained from the signal decay curve, while the full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) and the diffusional kurtosis K were obtained from the displacement distribution. Simulations of restricted diffusion, under conditions similar to those obtainable with a clinical MRI scanner, were carried out assuming various degrees of violation of the short gradient pulse (SGP) condition and of the long diffusion time limit. The results indicated that an MRI system can not be used for quantification of structural sizes less than about 10 microm by means of FWHM since the parameter underestimates the confinements due to violation of the SGP condition. However, FWHM can still be used as an important contrast parameter. The obtained kurtosis values were lower than expected from theory and the results showed that care must be taken when interpreting a kurtosis estimate deviating from zero.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity