Automated white-matter tractography using a probabilistic diffusion tensor atlas: Application to temporal lobe epilepsy

Authors

  • Donald J. Hagler Jr.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    • 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail code 0841, La Jolla, CA 92093
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  • Mazyar E. Ahmadi,

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Joshua Kuperman,

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Dominic Holland,

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Carrie R. McDonald,

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Eric Halgren,

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    3. Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    4. Department of Psychiatry, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Anders M. Dale

    1. Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
    3. Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, California
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  • Conflict of interest: Eric Halgren has equity interest in CorTechs Labs, and also serves on its Board of Directors. Anders M. Dale is a founder and holds equity in CorTechs Labs, and also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California, San Diego, in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

  • The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or the National Institute of Health.

Abstract

Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging allows researchers and clinicians to identify individual white matter fiber tracts and map their trajectories. The reliability and interpretability of fiber-tracking procedures is improved when a priori anatomical information is used as a guide. We have developed an automated method for labeling white matter fiber tracts in individual subjects based on a probabilistic atlas of fiber tract locations and orientations. The probabilistic fiber atlas contains 23 fiber tracts and was constructed by manually identifying fiber tracts in 21 healthy controls and 21 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The manual tract identification method required ∼40 h of manual editing by a trained image analyst using multiple regions of interest to select or exclude streamline fibers. Identification of fiber tracts with the atlas does not require human intervention, but nonetheless benefits from the a priori anatomical information that was used to manually identify the tracts included in the atlas. We applied this method to compare fractional anisotropy—thought to be a measure of white matter integrity—in individual fiber tracts between control subjects and patients with TLE. We found that the atlas-based and manual fiber selection methods produced a similar pattern of results. However, the between-group effect sizes using the atlas-derived fibers were generally as large or larger than those obtained with manually selected fiber tracks. Hum Brain Mapp, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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