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Proceedings Paper

Effects of DTI spatial normalization on white matter tract reconstructions
Author(s): Nagesh Adluru; Hui Zhang; Do P. M. Tromp; Andrew L. Alexander
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Paper Abstract

Major white matter (WM) pathways in the brain can be reconstructed in vivo using tractography on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. Performing tractography using the native DTI data is often considered to produce more faithful results than performing it using the spatially normalized DTI obtained using highly non-linear transformations. However, tractography in the normalized DTI is playing an increasingly important role in population analyses of the WM. In particular, the emerging tract specific analyses (TSA) can benefit from tractography in the normalized DTI for statistical parametric mapping in specific WM pathways. It is well known that the preservation of tensor orientations at the individual voxel level is enforced in tensor based registrations. However small reorientation errors at individual voxel level can accumulate and could potentially affect the tractography results adversely. To our knowledge, there has been no study investigating the effects of normalization on consistency of tractography that demands non-local preservation of tensor orientations which is not explicitly enforced in typical DTI spatial normalization routines. This study aims to evaluate and compare tract reconstructions obtained using normalized DTI against those obtained using native DTI. Although tractography results have been used to measure and influence the quality of spatial normalization, the presented study addresses a distinct question: whether non-linear spatial normalization preserves even long-range anatomical connections obtained using tractography for accurate reconstructions of pathways. Our results demonstrate that spatial normalization of DTI data does preserve tract reconstructions of major WM pathways and does not alter the variance (individual differences) of their macro and microstructural properties. This suggests one can extract quantitative and shape properties efficiently from the tractography data in the normalized DTI for performing population statistics on major WM pathways.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2013
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8669, Medical Imaging 2013: Image Processing, 86690A (13 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2007130
Show Author Affiliations
Nagesh Adluru, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison (United States)
Hui Zhang, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Do P. M. Tromp, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison (United States)
Andrew L. Alexander, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8669:
Medical Imaging 2013: Image Processing
Sebastien Ourselin; David R. Haynor, Editor(s)

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