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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2010, Article ID 618747, 11 pages
Research Article

Statistical Evaluations of the Reproducibility and Reliability of 3-Tesla High Resolution Magnetization Transfer Brain Images: A Pilot Study on Healthy Subjects

1Pfizer Inc., New York, NY, USA
2NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL, USA
3Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA
4University of Florida, Florida, FL, USA
5Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
6University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Received 29 September 2009; Accepted 4 December 2009

Academic Editor: Shan Zhao

Copyright © 2010 Kelly H. Zou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Magnetization transfer imaging (MT) may have considerable promise for early detection and monitoring of subtle brain changes before they are apparent on conventional magnetic resonance images. At 3 Tesla (T), MT affords higher resolution and increased tissue contrast associated with macromolecules. The reliability and reproducibility of a new high-resolution MT strategy were assessed in brain images acquired from 9 healthy subjects. Repeated measures were taken for 12 brain regions of interest (ROIs): genu, splenium, and the left and right hemispheres of the hippocampus, caudate, putamen, thalamus, and cerebral white matter. Spearman's correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were computed. Multivariate mixed-effects regression models were used to fit the mean ROI values and to test the significance of the effects due to region, subject, observer, time, and manual repetition. A sensitivity analysis of various model specifications and the corresponding ICCs was conducted. Our statistical methods may be generalized to many similar evaluative studies of the reliability and reproducibility of various imaging modalities.