Visualization of white matter tracts using a directional diffusion function based tractography in DT-MRI

S. Kumazawa, T. Yoshiura, H. Arimura, F. Mihara, H. Honda, Y. Higashida, F. Toyofuku

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We have developed a new method for white matter tractography which permits fiber tract branching and passing through crossing regions Our tractography method is based on a three-dimensional (3-D) directional diffusion function (DDF) defined by three eigenvalues and their corresponding eigenvectors in diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI). To extract the white matter tract regions, we introduced a 3-D directional diffusion field, which was generated by the DDF, into the DT-MRI voxel space. The DDF-based tractography estimated the local tract direction based on overlap of the DDFs instead of the principal eigenvector, which has been used in conventional methods, and reconstructed tract branching by using a one-to-many voxel connectivity. We applied our method to DT-MRI data of 5 normal subjects and 16 patients with a brain tumor, and visualized the pyramidal tract. Our method visualized the pathways connected with a large portion of the primary motor cortex, including foot, hand and face motor areas, passing through the crossing regions with other white matter tracts in all subjects and patients. The estimated pathways by our method were consistent with the neuroanatomical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-9
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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