Investigating the need of triggering the acquisition for infant diffusion MRI: A quantitative study including bootstrap statistics

Lajos R. Kozák, Szabolcs Dávid, Gábor Rudas, Zoltán Vidnyánszky, Alexander Leemans, Zoltán Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging is increasingly being used for neonatal and young pediatric subjects. Our purpose was to investigate a) whether cardiac triggering was needed to reduce variability of diffusion (tensor) imaging data, b) how pulsation artifacts affect the fitted diffusion tensor when triggering is not used and c) the feasibility of triggered data acquisition in neonates and young children. Data were collected from 11 infants and 7 adults. In seven infants and seven adults, diffusion encoding was applied solely along the z gradient direction with and without cardiac triggering. Non-parametric bootstrap statistical methods were applied to investigate the dependence of variance on triggering. One infant and all adults served as test-retest controls. From the remaining three infants diffusion tensor imaging data were acquired with and without triggering. Our findings that used the repeated measurements in a single diffusion-encoding direction indicated that without triggering the variability in the data was increased significantly both in infants and adults. When collecting diffusion tensor data in infants, this increased variability results in erroneous fractional anisotropy values and artifactual fiber direction estimates. Contrary to previous reports but supported by our findings involving adults, pulsation artifacts were present in a larger extent of the brain in the infant population. In conclusion, triggering is feasible in young subjects and is preferred when acquiring diffusion MRI data. In doing so, the amount of erroneous estimations due to image artifacts will be minimized, which in turn will lead to more specific and less ambiguous interpretations. Although fitting the pulse-monitoring device requires additional set-up time, the total imaging time is usually shorter than acquiring multiple data sets to compile a single, artifact-free set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Artifacts
  • Bootstrap statistics
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Image quality
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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