Effects of changing from non-accelerated to accelerated MRI for follow-up in brain atrophy measurement

Kelvin K. Leung, Ian M. Malone, Sebastien Ourselin, Jeffrey L. Gunter, Matt A. Bernstein, Paul M. Thompson, Clifford R. Jack, Michael W. Weiner, Nick C. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Stable MR acquisition is essential for reliable measurement of brain atrophy in longitudinal studies. One attractive recent advance in MRI is to speed up acquisition using parallel imaging (e.g. reducing volumetric T1-weighted acquisition scan times from around 9 to 5. min). In some studies, a decision to change to an accelerated acquisition may have been deliberately taken, while in others repeat scans may occasionally be accidentally acquired with an accelerated acquisition. In ADNI, non-accelerated and accelerated scans were acquired in the same scanning session on each individual. We investigated the impact on brain atrophy as measured by k-means normalized boundary shift integral (KN-BSI) and deformation-based morphometry when changing from non-accelerated to accelerated MRI acquisitions over a 12-month interval using scans of 422 subjects from ADNI. KN-BSIs were calculated using both a non-accelerated baseline scan and non-accelerated 12-month scans (i.e. consistent acquisition), and a non-accelerated baseline scan and an accelerated 12-month scan (i.e. changed acquisition). Fluid-based non-rigid registration was also performed on those scans to estimate the brain atrophy rate. We found that the effect on KN-BSI and fluid-based non-rigid registration depended on the scanner manufacturer. For KN-BSI, in Philips and Siemens scanners, the change had very little impact on the measured atrophy rate (increase of 0.051% in Philips and - 0.035% in Siemens from consistent acquisition to changed acquisition), whereas, in GE, the change caused a mean reduction of 0.65% in the brain atrophy rate. This is likely due to the difference in tissue contrast between gray matter and cerebrospinal fluid in the non-accelerated and accelerated scans in GE, which uses IR-FSPGR instead of MP-RAGE. For fluid-based non-rigid registration, the change caused a mean increase of 0.29% in the brain atrophy rate in the changed acquisition compared with consistent acquisition in Philips, whereas in GE and Siemens, the change had less impact on the mean atrophy rate (increase of 0.18% in GE and 0.049% in Siemens). Moving from non-accelerated baseline scans to accelerated scans for follow-up may have surprisingly little effect on computed atrophy rates depending on the exact sequence details and the scanner manufacturer; even accidentally inconsistent scans of this nature may still be useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Feb 5 2015


  • Accelerated acquisition
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Boundary shift integral
  • Brain atrophy
  • Non-accelerated acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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