Scan-rescan and intra-observer variability of magnetic resonance imaging of carotid atherosclerosis at 1.5 T and 3.0 T
Physics in Medicine and Biology
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Carotid atherosclerosis measurements for eight subjects at baseline and 14 +/- 2 days later were examined using 1.5 T and 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A single observer blinded to field strength, subject and timepoint manually segmented carotid artery wall and lumen boundaries in randomized images in five measurement trials. Mean increases in the signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) for T1-weighted images acquired at 3.0 T compared to 1.5 T were 90% (scan) and 80% (rescan). Despite significantly improved SNR and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) for images acquired at 3.0 T, vessel wall volume (VWV) intra-observer variability was not significantly different using coefficients of variation (COV), and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). VWV interscan variability and consistency at both field strengths were not statistically different (1.5 T/3.0 T COV = 5.7%/7.8%, R(2) = 0.96 for 1.5 T and R(2) = 0.87 for 3.0 T). A two-way analysis of variance showed a VWV dependence on field strength but not scan timepoint. In addition, a paired t-test showed significant differences in VWV measured at 3.0 T as compared to 1.5 T. These results suggest that although images acquired at 1.5 T have lower SNR and CNR VWV, measurement variability was not significantly different from 3.0 T VWV and that VWV is field-strength dependent which may be an important consideration for longitudinal studies.
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This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Physics in Medicine and Biology. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9155/53/23/011