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Review of Fixel-Based Analysis (FBA) of diffusion MRI (dMRI)

Goal: A comprehensive review of the Fixel-Based Analysis (FBA) framework for the statistical analysis of fibre-specific diffusion MRI (dMRI) metrics, including apparent fibre density (FD), fibre-bundle cross-section (FC) and fibre density and cross-section (FDC).

Date: 25 March 2020 - 21 July 2021

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Thijs Dhollander
added 6 research items
Diffusion MRI has provided the neuroimaging community with a powerful tool to acquire in-vivo data sensitive to microstructural features of white matter, up to 3 orders of magnitude smaller than typical voxel sizes. The key to extracting such valuable information lies in complex modelling techniques, which form the link between the rich diffusion MRI data and various metrics related to the microstructural organisation. Over time, increasingly advanced techniques have been developed, up to the point where some diffusion MRI models can now provide access to properties specific to individual fibre populations in each voxel in the presence of multiple "crossing" fibre pathways. While highly valuable, such fibre-specific information poses unique challenges for typical image processing pipelines and statistical analysis. In this work, we review the "fixel-based analysis" (FBA) framework, which implements bespoke solutions to this end. It has recently seen a stark increase in adoption for studies of both typical (healthy) populations as well as a wide range of clinical populations. We describe the main concepts related to fixel-based analyses, as well as the methods and specific steps involved in a state-of-the-art FBA pipeline, with a focus on providing researchers with practical advice on how to interpret results. We also include an overview of the scope of all current FBA studies, categorised across a broad range of neuroscientific domains, listing key design choices and summarising their main results and conclusions. Finally, we critically discuss several aspects and challenges involved with the FBA framework, and outline some directions and future opportunities.
Supplementary Document 1 for Dhollander, T., Clemente, A., Singh, M., Boonstra, F., Civier, O., Duque, J. D., Egorova, N., Enticott, P., Fuelscher, I., Gajamange, S., Genc, S., Gottlieb, E., Hyde, C., Imms, P., Kelly, C., Kirkovski, M., Kolbe, S., Liang, X., Malhotra, A., Mito, R., Poudel, G., Silk, T.J., Vaughan, D.N., Zanin, J., Raffelt, D., Caeyenberghs, K. (2021). Fixel-based Analysis of Diffusion MRI: Methods, Applications, Challenges and Opportunities. NeuroImage, 118417. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118417
Supplementary Document 2 for Dhollander, T., Clemente, A., Singh, M., Boonstra, F., Civier, O., Duque, J. D., Egorova, N., Enticott, P., Fuelscher, I., Gajamange, S., Genc, S., Gottlieb, E., Hyde, C., Imms, P., Kelly, C., Kirkovski, M., Kolbe, S., Liang, X., Malhotra, A., Mito, R., Poudel, G., Silk, T.J., Vaughan, D.N., Zanin, J., Raffelt, D., Caeyenberghs, K. (2021). Fixel-based Analysis of Diffusion MRI: Methods, Applications, Challenges and Opportunities. NeuroImage, 118417. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118417
Thijs Dhollander
added a project goal
A comprehensive review of the Fixel-Based Analysis (FBA) framework for the statistical analysis of fibre-specific diffusion MRI (dMRI) metrics, including apparent fibre density (FD), fibre-bundle cross-section (FC) and fibre density and cross-section (FDC).