TOMOGRAPHY, March 2019, Volume 5, Issue 1:110-117
Evaluating Multisite rCBV Consistency from DSC-MRI Imaging Protocols and Postprocessing Software Across the NCI Quantitative Imaging Network Sites Using a Digital Reference Object (DRO)
The use of rCBV as a response metric in clinical trials has been hampered, in part, due to variations in the biomarker consistency and associated interpretation across sites, stemming from differences in image acquisition and post-processing methods. This study leveraged a dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging digital reference object to characterize rCBV consistency across 12 sites participating in the Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN), specifically focusing on differences in site-specific imaging protocols (IPs; n = 17), and PMs (n = 19) and differences due to site-specific IPs and PMs (n = 25). Thus, high agreement across sites occurs when 1 managing center processes rCBV despite slight variations in the IP. This result is most likely supported by current initiatives to standardize IPs. However, marked intersite disagreement was observed when site-specific software was applied for rCBV measurements. This study's results have important implications for comparing rCBV values across sites and trials, where variability in PMs could confound the comparison of therapeutic effectiveness and/or any attempts to establish thresholds for categorical response to therapy. To overcome these challenges and ensure the successful use of rCBV as a clinical trial biomarker, we recommend the establishment of qualifying and validating site- and trial-specific criteria for scanners and acquisition methods (eg, using a validated phantom) and the software tools used for dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging analysis (eg, using a digital reference object where the ground truth is known).