Brain Volumetric and Fractal Analysis of Synthetic MRI: a comparative study with conventional 3D T1-weighted images

Sidong Liu, Tiebao Meng, Carlo Russo, Antonio Di Ieva, Shlomo Berkovsky, Lingling Peng, Weiqiang Dou, Long Qian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The estimation of brain volumetric measurements based on Synthetic MRI (SyMRI) is easy and fast, however, the consistency of brain volumetric and morphologic measurements based on SyMRI and 3D T1WI should be further addressed. The current study evaluated the impact of spatial resolution on brain volumetric and morphologic measurements using SyMRI, and test whether the brain measurements derived from SyMRI were consistent with those resulted from 3D T1WI.

Brain volumetric and fractal analysis were applied to thirty healthy subjects, each underwent four SyMRI acquisitions with different spatial resolutions (1 × 1 × 2 mm, 1 × 1x3mm, 1 × 1 × 4 mm, 2 × 2 × 2 mm) and a 3D T1WI (1 × 1 × 1 mm isotropic). The consistency of the SyMRI measurements was tested using one-way non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test and post hoc Dwass-Steel-Critchlow-Fligner test. The association between SyMRI and 3D T1WI derived measurements was evaluated using linear regression models.

Our results demonstrated that both in- and through-plane resolutions show an impact on brain volumetric measurements, while brain parenchymal volume showed high consistency across the SyMRI acquisitions, and high association with the measurements from 3D T1WI. In addition, SyMRI with 1 × 1 × 4 mm resolution showed the strongest association with 3D T1WI compared to other SyMRI acquisitions in both volumetric and fractal analyses. Moreover, substantial differences were found in fractal dimension of both gray and white matter between the SyMRI and 3D T1WI tissue segmentations.

Our results suggested that the measurements from SyMRI with relatively higher in-plane and lower through-plane resolution (1 × 1 × 4 mm) are much closer to 3D T1WI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109782
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021


  • Synthetic MRI
  • Brain volumetric analysis
  • Fractal analysis
  • Spatial resolution

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