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Independent component analysis tractography combined with a ball–stick model to isolate intravoxel crossing fibers of the corticospinal tracts in clinical diffusion MRI

Authors

  • Jeong-Won Jeong,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    2. Translational Imaging Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    • Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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  • Eishi Asano,

    1. Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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  • Fang-Cheng Yeh,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • Diane C. Chugani,

    1. Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    3. Translational Imaging Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    4. Department of Radiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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  • Harry T. Chugani

    1. Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    3. Translational Imaging Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
    4. Department of Radiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, 3901 Beaubien Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48201. E-mail: jeongwon@pet.wayne.edu

Abstract

The independent component analysis (ICA) tractography method has improved the ability to isolate intravoxel crossing fibers; however, the accuracy of ICA is limited in cases with voxels in local clusters lacking sufficient numbers of fibers with the same orientations. To overcome this limitation, the ICA was combined with a ball–stick model (BSM) [“ICA+BSM”]. An ICA approach is applied to identify crossing fiber components in voxels of small cluster, which are maximally independent in orientation. The eigenvectors of these components are numerically optimized via the subsequent BSM procedure. Simulation studies for two or three crossing fibers demonstrate that ICA+BSM overcomes the limitation of the original ICA method by refining regional ICA solutions in diffusion measurement of a single voxel. It shows 2°–5° of angular errors to isolate two or three fibers, providing a better recovery of simulated fibers compared with ICA alone. Human studies show that ICA+BSM achieves high anatomical correspondence of corticospinal tracts compared with postmortem corticospinal histology, yielding 92.2% true positive detection including both lateral and medial projections, compared with 84.1% for ICA alone. This study demonstrates that the intravoxel crossing fiber problem in clinical diffusion MRI may be sorted out more efficiently by combining ICA with BSM. Magn Reson Med 70:441–453, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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