Development of quality standards for multi-center, longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies in clinical neuroscience

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data is generated by a complex procedure. Many possible sources of error exist which can lead to a worse signal. For example, hidden defective components of a MRI-scanner, changes in the static magnetic field caused by a person simply moving in the MRI scanner room a...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Vogelbacher, Christoph
Contributors: Jansen, Andreas (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Dissertation
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2020
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Summary:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data is generated by a complex procedure. Many possible sources of error exist which can lead to a worse signal. For example, hidden defective components of a MRI-scanner, changes in the static magnetic field caused by a person simply moving in the MRI scanner room as well as changes in the measurement sequences can negatively affect the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). A comprehensive, reproducible, quality assurance (QA) procedure is necessary, to ensure reproducible results both from the MRI equipment and the human operator of the equipment. To examine the quality of the MRI data, there are two possibilities. On the one hand, water or gel-filled objects, so-called "phantoms", are regularly measured. Based on this signal, which in the best case should always be stable, the general performance of the MRI scanner can be tested. On the other hand, the actually interesting data, mostly human data, are checked directly for certain signal parameters (e.g., SNR, motion parameters). This thesis consists of two parts. In the first part a study-specific QA-protocol was developed for a large multicenter MRI-study, FOR2107. The aim of FOR2107 is to investigate the causes and course of affective disorders, unipolar depression and bipolar disorders, taking clinical and neurobiological effects into account. The main aspect of FOR2107 is the MRI-measurement of more than 2000 subjects in a longitudinal design (currently repeated measurements after 2 years, further measurements planned after 5 years). To bring MRI-data and disease history together, MRI-data must provide stable results over the course of the study. Ensuring this stability is dealt with in this part of the work. An extensive QA, based on phantom measurements, human data analysis, protocol compliance testing, etc., was set up. In addition to the development of parameters for the characterization of MRI-data, the used QA-protocols were improved during the study. The differences between sites and the impact of these differences on human data analysis were analyzed. The comprehensive quality assurance for the FOR2107 study showed significant differences in MRI-signal (for human and phantom data) between the centers. Occurring problems could easily be recognized in time and be corrected, and must be included for current and future analyses of human data. For the second part of this thesis, a QA-protocol (and the freely available associated software "LAB-QA2GO") has been developed and tested, and can be used for individual studies or to control the quality of an MRI-scanner. This routine was developed because at many sites and in many studies, no explicit QA is performed nevertheless suitable, freely available QA-software for MRI-measurements is available. With LAB-QA2GO, it is possible to set up a QA-protocol for an MRI-scanner or a study without much effort and IT knowledge. Both parts of the thesis deal with the implementation of QA-procedures. High quality data and study results can be achieved only by the usage of appropriate QA-procedures, as presented in this work. Therefore, QA-measures should be implemented at all levels of a project and should be implemented permanently in project and evaluation routines.
Physical Description:87 Pages
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2020.0151