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Abstract #3352

Evaluation of diffusion directions vs averages for accurate and reproducible cardiac DTI

Darryl McClymont1, Irvin Teh1, Hannah Whittington1, and Jürgen Schneider1

1Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Cardiac DTI is subject to long scan times and low SNR, which invariably leads to a trade-off between the number of averages and diffusion-encoding directions to acquire. However, the exact relationship between the diffusion tensor and these parameters is unclear. In this work we utilise DTI data from five high quality ex-vivo rat hearts, and vary the SNR between 2 and 97 and the number of directions between 7 and 61. Results show that the apparent diffusion coefficient is optimised for scan time when SNR is maximised and directions are minimised, whereas parametric angle measurements are time-optimised with more directions. At typical in-vivo settings, we estimate that fractional anisotropy is being overestimated by up to 20%, while the precision of sheetlet angles may be as poor as ±36 degrees.

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