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Tractostorm: The what, why, and how of tractography dissection reproducibility

Rheault, Francois and De Benedictis, Alessandro and Daducci, Alessandro and Maffei, Chiara and Tax, Chantal M. W. and Romascano, David and Caverzasi, Eduardo and Morency, Felix C. and Corrivetti, Francesco and Pestilli, Franco and Girard, Gabriel and Theaud, Guillaume and Zemmoura, Ilyess and Hau, Janice and Glavin, Kelly and Jordan, Kesshi M. and Pomiecko, Kristofer and Chamberland, Maxime and Barakovic, Muhamed and Goyette, Nil and Poulin, Philippe and Chenot, Quentin and Panesar, Sandip S. and Sarubbo, Silvio and Petit, Laurent and Descoteaux, Maxime Tractostorm: The what, why, and how of tractography dissection reproducibility. (2020) Human Brain Mapping, 41 (7). 1859-1874. ISSN 1065-9471

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24917

Abstract

Investigative studies of white matter (WM) brain structures using diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography frequently require manual WM bundle segmentation, often called “virtual dissection.” Human errors and personal decisions make these manual segmentations hard to reproduce, which have not yet been quantified by the dMRI community. It is our opinion that if the field of dMRI tractography wants to be taken seriously as a widespread clinical tool, it is imperative to harmonize WM bundle segmentations and develop protocols aimed to be used in clinical settings. The EADC‐ADNI Harmonized Hippocampal Protocol achieved such standardization through a series of steps that must be reproduced for every WM bundle. This article is an observation of the problematic. A specific bundle segmentation protocol was used in order to provide a real‐life example, but the contribution of this article is to discuss the need for reproducibility and standardized protocol, as for any measurement tool. This study required the participation of 11 experts and 13 nonexperts in neuroanatomy and “virtual dissection” across various laboratories and hospitals. Intra‐rater agreement (Dice score) was approximately 0.77, while inter‐rater was approximately 0.65. The protocol provided to participants was not necessarily optimal, but its design mimics, in essence, what will be required in future protocols. Reporting tractometry results such as average fractional anisotropy, volume or streamline count of a particular bundle without a sufficient reproducibility score could make the analysis and interpretations more difficult. Coordinated efforts by the diffusion MRI tractography community are needed to quantify and account for reproducibility of WM bundle extraction protocols in this era of open and collaborative science.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:02 Dec 2020 12:31

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