Standardized Quality Metric System for Structural Brain Magnetic Resonance Images in Multi-Center Neuroimaging Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background Multi-site neuroimaging offer several benefits and poses tough challenges in the drug development process. Although MRI protocol and clinical guidelines developed to address these challenges recommend the use of good quality images, reliable assessment of image quality is hampered by the several shortcomings of existing techniques. Methods Given a test image two feature images are extracted. They are grayscale and contrast feature images. Four binary images are generated by setting four different global thresholds on the feature images. Image quality is predicted by measuring the structural similarity between appropriate pairs of binary images. The lower and upper limits of the quality index are 0 and 1. Quality prediction is based on four quality attributes; luminance contrast, texture, texture contrast and lightness. Results Performance evaluation on test data from three multi-site clinical trials show good objective quality evaluation across MRI sequences, levels of distortion and quality attributes. Correlation with subjective evaluation by human observers is ≥ 0.6. Conclusion The results are promising for the evaluation of MRI protocols, specifically the standardization of quality index, designed to overcome the challenges encountered in multi-site clinical trials.