Amygdalar nuclei and hippocampal subfields on MRI: Test-retest reliability of automated volumetry across different MRI sites and vendors

Giulia Quattrini*, Michela Pievani, Jorge Jovicich, Marco Aiello, Núria Bargalló, Frederik Barkhof, David Bartres-Faz, Alberto Beltramello, Francesca B. Pizzini, Olivier Blin, Regis Bordet, Massimo Caulo, Manos Constantinides, Mira Didic, Antonios Drevelegas, Antonio Ferretti, Ute Fiedler, Piero Floridi, Hélène Gros-Dagnac, Tilman HenschKarl Titus Hoffmann, Joost P. Kuijer, Renaud Lopes, Camillo Marra, Bernhard W. Müller, Flavio Nobili, Lucilla Parnetti, Pierre Payoux, Agnese Picco, Jean Philippe Ranjeva, Luca Roccatagliata, Paolo M. Rossini, Marco Salvatore, Peter Schonknecht, Björn H. Schott, Julien Sein, Andrea Soricelli, Roberto Tarducci, Magda Tsolaki, Pieter J. Visser, Jens Wiltfang, Jill C. Richardson, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Moira Marizzoni, PharmaCog Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The amygdala and the hippocampus are two limbic structures that play a critical role in cognition and behavior, however their manual segmentation and that of their smaller nuclei/subfields in multicenter datasets is time consuming and difficult due to the low contrast of standard MRI. Here, we assessed the reliability of the automated segmentation of amygdalar nuclei and hippocampal subfields across sites and vendors using FreeSurfer in two independent cohorts of older and younger healthy adults. Methods: Sixty-five healthy older (cohort 1) and 68 younger subjects (cohort 2), from the PharmaCog and CoRR consortia, underwent repeated 3D-T1 MRI (interval 1–90 days). Segmentation was performed using FreeSurfer v6.0. Reliability was assessed using volume reproducibility error (ε) and spatial overlapping coefficient (DICE) between test and retest session. Results: Significant MRI site and vendor effects (p ​< ​.05) were found in a few subfields/nuclei for the ε, while extensive effects were found for the DICE score of most subfields/nuclei. Reliability was strongly influenced by volume, as ε correlated negatively and DICE correlated positively with volume size of structures (absolute value of Spearman's r correlations >0.43, p ​< ​1.39E-36). In particular, volumes larger than 200 ​mm3 (for amygdalar nuclei) and 300 ​mm3 (for hippocampal subfields, except for molecular layer) had the best test-retest reproducibility (ε ​< ​5% and DICE ​> ​0.80). Conclusion: Our results support the use of volumetric measures of larger amygdalar nuclei and hippocampal subfields in multisite MRI studies. These measures could be useful for disease tracking and assessment of efficacy in drug trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116932
JournalNeuroImage
Volume218
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Cite this