H. P. Muller, G. Gron, R. Sprengelmeyer, J. Kassubek, A. C. Ludolph, N. Hobbs, J. Cole, R. A. Roos, A. Duerr, S. J. Tabrizi, G. B. Landwehrmeyer, S. D. Sussmuth


2213-1582 (Electronic)2213-1582 (Linking)

Publication year



Neuroimage Clin

Periodical Number





Author Address

Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Germany.

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PURPOSE: Assessment of the feasibility to average diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics of MRI data acquired in the course of a multicenter study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-one early stage Huntington’s disease patients and forty healthy controls were studied using four different MR scanners at four European sites with acquisition protocols as close as possible to a given standard protocol. The potential and feasibility of averaging data acquired at different sites was evaluated quantitatively by region-of-interest (ROI) based statistical comparisons of coefficients of variation (CV) across centers, as well as by testing for significant group-by-center differences on averaged fractional anisotropy (FA) values between patients and controls. In addition, a whole-brain based statistical between-group comparison was performed using FA maps. RESULTS: The ex post facto statistical evaluation of CV and FA-values in a priori defined ROIs showed no differences between sites above chance indicating that data were not systematically biased by center specific factors. CONCLUSION: Averaging FA-maps from DTI data acquired at different study sites and different MR scanner types does not appear to be systematically biased. A suitable recipe for testing on the possibility to pool multicenter DTI data is provided to permit averaging of DTI-derived metrics to differentiate patients from healthy controls at a larger scale.