White matter tractography by anisotropic wavefront evolution and diffusion tensor imaging.
ABSTRACT Determination of axonal pathways provides an invaluable means to study the connectivity of the human brain and its functional network. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is unique in its ability to capture the restricted diffusion of water molecules which can be used to infer the directionality of tissue components. In this paper, we introduce a white matter tractography method based on anisotropic wavefront propagation in diffusion tensor images. A front propagates in the white matter with a speed profile governed by the isocontour of the diffusion tensor ellipsoid. By using the ellipsoid, we avoid possible misclassification of the principal eigenvector in oblate regions. The wavefront evolution is described by an anisotropic version of the static Hamilton-Jacobi equation, which is solved by a sweeping method in order to obtain correct arrival times. Pathways of connection are determined by tracing minimum-cost trajectories using the characteristic vector field of the resulting partial differential equation. A validity index is described to rate the goodness of the resulting pathways with respect to the directionality of the tensor field. Connectivity results using normal human DTI brain images are illustrated and discussed. We also compared our method with a similar level set-based tractography technique, and found that the anisotropic evolution increased the validity index of the obtained pathways by 18%.
Article: Fuzzy anatomical connectedness of the brain using single and multiple fibre orientations estimated from diffusion MRI.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A new fuzzy algorithm for assessing white matter connectivity in the brain using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images is presented. The proposed method considers anatomical paths as chains of linked neighbouring voxels. Links between neighbours are assigned weights using the respective fibre orientation estimates. By checking all possible paths between any two voxels, a connectedness value is assigned, representative of the weakest link of the strongest path connecting the voxel pair. Multiple orientations within a voxel can be incorporated, thus allowing the utilization of fibre crossing information, while fibre branching is inherently considered. Under the assumption that paths connected strongly to a seed will exhibit adequate orientational coherence, fuzzy connectedness values offer a relative measure of path feasibility. The algorithm is validated using simulations and results are shown on diffusion tensor and Q-ball images.Computerized medical imaging and graphics: the official journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society 09/2009; 34(6):504-13. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A new automatic algorithm for assessing fiber-bundle organization in the human heart using diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging is presented. The proposed approach distinguishes from the locally "greedy" paradigm, which uses voxel-wise seed initialization intrinsic to conventional tracking algorithms. It formulates the fiber tracking problem as the global problem of computing paths in a boolean-weighted undirected graph, where each voxel is a vertex and each pair of neighboring voxels is connected with an edge. This leads to a global optimization task that can be solved by iterated conditional modes-like algorithms or Metropolis-type annealing. A new deterministic optimization strategy, namely iterated conditional modes with α-relaxation using (t(2))- and (t(4))-moves, is also proposed; it has similar performance to annealing but offers a substantial computational gain. This approach offers some important benefits. The global nature of our tractography method reduces sensitivity to noise and modeling errors. The discrete framework allows an optimal balance between the density of fiber bundles and the amount of available data. Besides, seed points are no longer needed; fibers are predicted in one shot for the whole diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging volume, in a completely automatic way.Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 10/2010; 64(4):1215-29. · 2.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) allows to noninvasively measure the diffusion of water in fibrous tissue. By reconstructing the fibers from DTI data using a fiber-tracking algorithm, we can deduce the structure of the tissue. In this paper, we outline an approach to accelerating such a fiber-tracking algorithm using a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This algorithm, which is based on the calculation of geodesics, has shown promising results for both synthetic and real data, but is limited in its applicability by its high computational requirements. We present a solution which uses the parallelism offered by modern GPUs, in combination with the CUDA platform by NVIDIA, to significantly reduce the execution time of the fiber-tracking algorithm. Compared to a multithreaded CPU implementation of the same algorithm, our GPU mapping achieves a speedup factor of up to 40 times.International Journal of Biomedical Imaging 01/2011; 2011:698908.