Characterization and correction of geometric distortions in 814 Diffusion Weighted Images

Jeffrey Mark Treiber, Nathan S. White, Tyler Christian Steed, Hauke Bartsch, Dominic Holland, Nikdokht Farid, Carrie R. McDonald, Bob S. Carter, Anders Martin Dale, Clark C. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Introduction: Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI), which is based on Echo Planar Imaging (EPI) protocols, is becoming increasingly important for neurosurgical applications. However, its use in this context is limited in part by significant spatial distortion inherent to EPI. Method: We evaluated an efficient algorithm for EPI distortion correction (EPIC) across 814 DWI scans from 250 brain tumor patients and quantified the magnitude of geometric distortion for whole brain and multiple brain regions. Results: Evaluation of the algorithm's performance revealed significantly higher mutual information between T1-weighted pre-contrast images and corrected b = 0 images than the uncorrected b = 0 images (p < 0.001). The distortion magnitude across all voxels revealed a median EPI distortion effect of 2.1 mm, ranging from 1.2 mm to 5.9 mm, the 5th and 95th percentile, respectively. Regions adjacent to bone-air interfaces, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, temporal poles, and brain stem, were the regions most severely affected by DWI distortion. Conclusion: Using EPIC to estimate the degree of distortion in 814 DWI brain tumor images enabled the creation of a topographic atlas of DWI distortion across the brain. The degree of displacement of tumors boundaries in uncorrected images is severe but can be corrected for using EPIC. Our results support the use of distortion correction to ensure accurate and careful application of DWI to neurosurgical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0152472
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01 EB00790 and with support by Medtronic. CCC is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award, the Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Medical Scientists, the Kimmel Scholar award, a Discovery Grant from the American Brain Tumor Association, a Grant from Accelerated Brain Cancer Cure, and the William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1430082.

Funding Information:
A.M.D. is a founder and holds equity in CorTechs Labs, Inc., and also serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. A.M.D. is named as an inventor on US Patent US8160319, assigned to the The Regents of the University of California, covering the distortion correction method used in the current report. A.M.D. is a Principal Investigator of a Comprehensive Research Agreement between General Electric Healthcare and the University of California San Diego. The terms of these arrangements have been reviewed and approved by the University of California at San Diego, in accordance with its conflict of interest policies. C.C.C. has grant funding by Medtronic. This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Treiber et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization and correction of geometric distortions in 814 Diffusion Weighted Images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this