Short-term test-retest reliability of resting state fMRI metrics in children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Oct:15:83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Aug 11.


To date, only one study has examined test-retest reliability of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) in children, none in clinical developing groups. Here, we assessed short-term test-retest reliability in a sample of 46 children (11-17.9 years) with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 57 typically developing children (TDC). Our primary test-retest reliability measure was the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), quantified for a range of R-fMRI metrics. We aimed to (1) survey reliability within and across diagnostic groups, and (2) compare voxel-wise ICC between groups. We found moderate-to-high ICC across all children and within groups, with higher-order functional networks showing greater ICC. Nearly all R-fMRI metrics exhibited significantly higher ICC in TDC than in children with ADHD for one or more regions. In particular, posterior cingulate and ventral precuneus exhibited group differences in ICC across multiple measures. In the context of overall moderate-to-high test-retest reliability in children, regional differences in ICC related to diagnostic groups likely reflect the underlying pathophysiology for ADHD. Our currently limited understanding of the factors contributing to inter- and intra-subject variability in ADHD underscores the need for large initiatives aimed at examining their impact on test-retest reliability in both clinical and developing populations.

Keywords: ADHD; Image intraclass correlation coefficient (I2C2); Intraclass correlation coefficient; Resting state fMRI; Test–retest reliability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results*