Reproducibility of DCE-MRI time–intensity curve-shape analysis in patients with knee arthritis: A comparison with qualitative and pharmacokinetic analyses

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Abstract

Purpose:

To compare the between-session reproducibility of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) combined with time–intensity curve (TIC)-shape analysis in arthritis patients, within one scanner and between two different scanners, and to compare this method with qualitative analysis and pharmacokinetic modeling (PKM).

Materials and Methods:

Fifteen knee joint arthritis patients were included and scanned twice on a closed-bore 1.5T scanner (n = 9, group 1), or on a closed-bore 1.5T and on an open-bore 1.0T scanner (n = 6, group 2). DCE-MRI data were postprocessed using in-house developed software ("Dynamo"). Disease activity was assessed.

Results:

Disease activity was comparable between the two visits. In group 1 qualitative analysis showed the highest reproducibility with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between 0.78 and 0.98 and root mean square-coefficients of variation (RMS-CoV) of 8.0%–14.9%. TIC-shape analysis showed a slightly lower reproducibility with similar ICCs (0.78–0.97) but higher RMS-CoV (18.3%–42.9%). The PKM analysis showed the lowest reproducibility with ICCs between 0.39 and 0.64 (RMS-CoV 21.5%–51.9%). In group 2 TIC-shape analysis of the two most important TIC-shape types showed the highest reproducibility with ICCs of 0.78 and 0.71 (RMS-CoV 29.8% and 59.4%) and outperformed the reproducibility of the most important qualitative parameter (ICC 0.31, RMS-CoV 45.1%) and the within-scanner reproducibility of PKM analysis.

Conclusion:

TIC-shape analysis is a robust postprocessing method within one scanner, almost as reproducible as the qualitative analysis. Between scanners, the reproducibility of the most important TIC-shapes outperform that of the most important qualitative parameter and the within-scanner reproducibility of PKM analysis. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2015;42:1497–1506.

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