Comparison of inter subject variability and reproducibility of whole brain proton spectroscopy

T. V. Veenith, M. Mada, Eleanor Carter, J. Grossac, V. Newcombe, J. Outtrim, V. Lupson, S. Nallapareddy, Guy B. Williams, S. Sheriff, D. K. Menon, A. A. Maudsley, Jonathan P. Coles

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The aim of these studies was to provide reference data on intersubject variability and reproducibility of metabolite ratios for Choline/Creatine (Cho/Cr), N-acetyl aspartate/Choline (NAA/Cho) and N-acetyl aspartate/Creatine (NAA/Cr), and individual signal-intensity normalised metabolite concentrations of NAA, Cho and Cr. Healthy volunteers underwent imaging on two occasions using the same 3T Siemens Verio magnetic resonance scanner. At each session two identical Metabolic Imaging and Data Acquisition Software (MIDAS) sequences were obtained along with standard structural imaging. Metabolite maps were created and regions of interest applied in normalised space. The baseline data from all 32 volunteers were used to calculate the intersubject variability, while within session and between session reproducibility were calculated from all the available data. The reproducibility of measurements were used to calculate the overall and within session 95% prediction interval for zero change. The within and between session reproducibility data were lower than the values for intersubject variability, and were variable across the different brain regions. The within and between session reproducibility measurements were similar for Cho/Cr, NAA/Choline, Cho and Cr (11.8%, 11.4%, 14.3 and 10.6% vs. 11.9%, 11.4%, 13.5% and 10.5% respectively), but for NAA/Creatine and NAA between session reproducibility was lower (9.3% and 9.1% vs. 10.1% and 9.9%; p <0.05). This study provides additional reference data that can be utilised in interventional studies to quantify change within a single imaging session, or to assess the significance of change in longitudinal studies of brain injury and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere115304
Number of pages23
JournalPLOS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2014


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