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White matter tractography using diffusion tensor deflection

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Abstract

Diffusion tensor MRI provides unique directional diffusion information that can be used to estimate the patterns of white matter connectivity in the human brain. In this study, the behavior of an algorithm for white matter tractography is examined. The algorithm, called TEND, uses the entire diffusion tensor to deflect the estimated fiber trajectory. Simulations and imaging experiments on in vivo human brains were performed to investigate the behavior of the tractography algorithm. The simulations show that the deflection term is less sensitive than the major eigenvector to image noise. In the human brain imaging experiments, estimated tracts were generated in corpus callosum, corticospinal tract, internal capsule, corona radiata, superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, fronto-occipital fasciculus, and uncinate fasciculus. This approach is promising for mapping the organizational patterns of white matter in the human brain as well as mapping the relationship between major fiber trajectories and the location and extent of brain lesions. Hum. Brain Mapping 18:306–321, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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