The effect of Gibbs ringing artifacts on measures derived from diffusion MRI

Perrone, Daniele, Aelterman, Jan, Pi┼żurica, Aleksandra, Jeurissen, Ben, Philips, Wilfried, Leemans, A


NeuroImage 120 p. 441-455


Diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a unique method to investigate microstructural tissue properties noninvasively and is one of the most popular methods for studying the brain white matter in vivo. To obtain reliable statistical inferences with diffusion MRI, however, there are still many challenges, such as acquiring high-quality DW-MRI data (e.g., high SNR and high resolution), careful data preprocessing (e.g., correcting for subject motion and eddy current induced geometric distortions), choosing the appropriate diffusion approach (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI), or diffusion spectrum MRI), and applying a robust analysis strategy (e.g., tractography based or voxel based analysis). Notwithstanding the numerous efforts to optimize many steps in this complex and lengthy diffusion analysis pipeline, to date, a well-known artifact in MRI - i.e., Gibbs ringing (GR) - has largely gone unnoticed or deemed insignificant as a potential confound in quantitative DW-MRI analysis. Considering the recent explosion of diffusion MRI applications in biomedical and clinical applications, a systematic and comprehensive investigation is necessary to understand the influence of GR on the estimation of diffusion measures. In this work, we demonstrate with simulations and experimental DW-MRI data that diffusion estimates are significantly affected by GR artifacts and we show that an off-the-shelf GR correction procedure based on total variation already can alleviate this issue substantially.