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Proceedings Paper

Diffusion tensor sharpening improves white matter tractography
Author(s): Maxime Descoteaux; Christophe Lenglet; Rachid Deriche
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Paper Abstract

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is currently a widespread technique to infer white matter architecture in the human brain. An important application of DTI is to understand the anatomical coupling between functional cortical regions of the brain. To solve this problem, anisotropy maps are insufficient and fiber tracking methods are used to obtain the main fibers. While the diffusion tensor (DT) is important to obtain anisotropy maps and apparent diffusivity of the underlying tissue, fiber tractography using the full DT may result in diffusive tracking that leaks into unexpected regions. Sharpening is thus of utmost importance to obtain complete and accurate tracts. In the tracking literature, only heuristic methods have been proposed to deal with this problem. We propose a new tensor sharpening transform. Analogously to the general issue with the diffusion and fiberOrientation Distribution Function (ODF) encountered when working with High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging (HARDI), we show how to transform the diffusion tensors into so-called fiber tensors. We demonstrate that this tensor transform is a natural pre-processing task when one is interested in fiber tracking. It also leads to a dramatic improvement of the tractography results obtained by front propagation techniques on the full diffusion tensor. We compare and validate sharpening and tracking results on synthetic data and on known fiber bundles in the human brain.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6512, Medical Imaging 2007: Image Processing, 65121J (5 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.708988
Show Author Affiliations
Maxime Descoteaux, INRIA Sophia Antipolis (France)
Christophe Lenglet, Siemens Corporate Research (United States)
Rachid Deriche, INRIA Sophia Antipolis (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6512:
Medical Imaging 2007: Image Processing
Josien P. W. Pluim; Joseph M. Reinhardt, Editor(s)

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