Super-resolution track-density imaging of thalamic substructures: Comparison with high-resolution anatomical magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0T

Authors

  • Fernando Calamante,

    1. Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • FC, J-DT, GDJ, and AC have a patent application on the TDI method.

    • Fernando Calamante and Se-Hong Oh contributed equally to this work.

  • Se-Hong Oh,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
    2. Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania
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    • Fernando Calamante and Se-Hong Oh contributed equally to this work.

  • Jacques-Donald Tournier,

    1. Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • FC, J-DT, GDJ, and AC have a patent application on the TDI method.

  • Sung-Yeon Park,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
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  • Young-Don Son,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
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  • Jun-Young Chung,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
    2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Health Sciences, Eulji University, Korea
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  • Je-Geun Chi,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
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  • Graeme D. Jackson,

    1. Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • FC, J-DT, GDJ, and AC have a patent application on the TDI method.

  • Chan-Woong Park,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
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  • Young-Bo Kim,

    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
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  • Alan Connelly,

    1. Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    • FC, J-DT, GDJ, and AC have a patent application on the TDI method.

  • Zang-Hee Cho

    Corresponding author
    1. Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea
    • Brain Research Institute, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, 1198 Kuwol-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon 405-760, Korea. E-mail: zcho@gachon.ac.kr

Abstract

The thalamus is one of the most important brain structures, with strong connections between subcortical and cortical areas of the brain. Most of the incoming information to the cortex passes through the thalamus. Accurate identification of substructures of the thalamus is therefore of great importance for the understanding of human brain connectivity. Direct visualization of thalamic substructures, however, is not easily achieved with currently available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including ultra-high field MRI such as 7.0T, mainly due to the limited contrast between the relevant structures. Recently, improvements in ultra-high field 7.0T MRI have opened the possibility of observing thalamic substructures by well-adjusted high-resolution T1-weighted imaging. Moreover, the recently developed super-resolution track-density imaging (TDI) technique, based on results from whole-brain fiber-tracking, produces images with sub-millimeter resolution. These two methods enable us to show markedly improved anatomical detail of the substructures of the thalamus, including their detailed locations and directionality. In this study, we demonstrate the role of TDI for the visualization of the substructures of the thalamic nuclei, and relate these images to T1-weighted imaging at 7.0T MRI. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2538–2548, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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