Accurate free-water estimation in white matter from fast diffusion MRI acquisitions using the spherical means technique

TitleAccurate free-water estimation in white matter from fast diffusion MRI acquisitions using the spherical means technique
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsTristán-Vega, A., G. París, R. de Luis-García, and S. Aja-Fernández
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Volumen/a
Pagination1–8
Date Published2021
Keywordsdiffusion MRI, free water, spherical means, white matter
Abstract

Purpose To accurately estimate the partial volume fraction of free water in the white matter from diffusion MRI acquisitions not demanding strong sensitizing gradients and/or large collections of different b-values. Data sets considered comprise 32-64 gradients near plus 6 gradients near . Theory and Methods The spherical means of each diffusion MRI set with the same b-value are computed. These means are related to the inherent diffusion parameters within the voxel (free- and cellular-water fractions; cellular-water diffusivity), which are solved by constrained nonlinear least squares regression. Results The proposed method outperforms those based on mixtures of two Gaussians for the kind of data sets considered. W.r.t. the accuracy, the former does not introduce significant biases in the scenarios of interest, while the latter can reach a bias of 5%–7% if fiber crossings are present. W.r.t. the precision, a variance near , compared to 15%, can be attained for usual configurations. Conclusion It is possible to compute reliable estimates of the free-water fraction inside the white matter by complementing typical DTI acquisitions with few gradients at a lowb-value. It can be done voxel-by-voxel, without imposing spatial regularity constraints.

DOI10.1002/mrm.28997