Purpose To evaluate between-site agreement of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements in preclinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. Materials and Methods A miniaturized thermally stable ice-water phantom was devised. ADC (mean and interquartile range) was measured over several days, on 4.7T, 7T, and 9.4T Bruker, Agilent, and Magnex small-animal MRI systems using a common protocol across seven sites. Day-to-day repeatability was expressed as percent variation of mean ADC between acquisitions. Cross-site reproducibility was expressed as 1.96 × standard deviation of percent deviation of ADC values. Results ADC measurements were equivalent across all seven sites with a cross-site ADC reproducibility of 6.3%. Mean day-to-day repeatability of ADC measurements was 2.3%, and no site was identified as presenting different measurements than others (analysis of variance [ANOVA] P = 0.02, post-hoc test n.s.). Between-slice ADC variability was negligible and similar between sites (P = 0.15). Mean within-region-of-interest ADC variability was 5.5%, with one site presenting a significantly greater variation than the others (P = 0.0013). Conclusion Absolute ADC values in preclinical studies are comparable between sites and equipment, provided standardized protocols are employed.
- apparent diffusion coefficient
- imaging biomarker
- preclinical MRI