Yonsei Med J.  2021 Mar;62(3):255-261. 10.3349/ymj.2021.62.3.255.

Comparison of Automated Brain Volume Measures by NeuroQuant vs. Freesurfer in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Effect of Slice Thickness

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiology, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Radiology, Hanyang University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea
  • 5Department of Radiology, Eunpyeong St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Neurology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study aimed to examine the inter-method reliability and volumetric differences between NeuroQuant (NQ) and Freesurfer (FS) using T1 volume imaging sequence with different slice thicknesses in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Materials and Methods
This retrospective study enrolled 80 patients diagnosed with MCI at our memory clinic. NQ and FS were used for volumetric analysis of three-dimensional T1-weighted images with slice thickness of 1 and 1.2 mm. Inter-method reliability was measured with Pearson correlation coefficient (r), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and effect size (ES).
Results
Overall, NQ volumes were larger than FS volumes in several locations: whole brain (0.78%), cortical gray matter (5.34%), and white matter (2.68%). Volume measures by NQ and FS showed good-to-excellent ICCs with both 1 and 1.2 mm slice thickness (ICC=0.75–0.97, ES=-1.0–0.73 vs. ICC=0.78–0.96, ES=-0.9–0.77, respectively), except for putamen, pallidum, thalamus, and total intracranial volumes. The ICCs in all locations, except the putamen and cerebellum, were slightly higher with a slice thickness of 1 mm compared to those of 1.2 mm.
Conclusion
Inter-method reliability between NQ and FS was good-to-excellent in most regions with improvement with a 1-mm slice thickness. This finding indicates that the potential effects of slice thickness should be considered when performing volumetric measurements for cognitive impairment.

Keyword

Brain volume; FreeSurfer; mild cognitive impairment; NeuroQuant
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