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Abstract #4707

Inter-subject variability in global diffusivity metrics degrades cross-sectional statistics

Leighton BARNDEN1, Kiran Thapaliya1, Donald Staines1, Jiasheng SU1, and Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik1
1NCNED, Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia


Diffusion metrics from brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) characterise axonal structure and include fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD). Cross-sectional studies of DTI metric maps apply voxel-based statistical analysis of the metric values generated by standard MRTrix and FSL algorithms and assumes that the global values for these metrics are consistent across the populations analysed. This study found that inter-subject global levels vary appreciably for the full range of diffusion metrics. Removal of the variance associated with the global levels markedly improved the statistical inference for differences in a study of ME/CFS patients and healthy controls.

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