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Improved tractography using asymmetric fibre orientation distributions

Bastiani, M; Cottaar, M; Dikranian, K; Ghosh, A; Zhang, H; Alexander, DC; Behrens, TE; ... Sotiropoulos, SN; + view all (2017) Improved tractography using asymmetric fibre orientation distributions. NeuroImage , 158 pp. 205-218. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.050. Green open access

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Diffusion MRI allows us to make inferences on the structural organisation of the brain by mapping water diffusion to white matter microstructure. However, such a mapping is generally ill-defined; for instance, diffusion measurements are antipodally symmetric (diffusion along x and -x are equal), whereas the distribution of fibre orientations within a voxel is generally not symmetric. Therefore, different sub-voxel patterns such as crossing, fanning, or sharp bending, cannot be distinguished by fitting a voxel-wise model to the signal. However, asymmetric fibre patterns can potentially be distinguished once spatial information from neighbouring voxels is taken into account. We propose a neighbourhood-constrained spherical deconvolution approach that is capable of inferring asymmetric fibre orientation distributions (A-fods). Importantly, we further design and implement a tractography algorithm that utilises the estimated A-fods, since the commonly used streamline tractography paradigm cannot directly take advantage of the new information. We assess performance using ultra-high resolution histology data where we can compare true orientation distributions against sub-voxel fibre patterns estimated from down-sampled data. Finally, we explore the benefits of A-fods-based tractography using in vivo data by evaluating agreement of tractography predictions with connectivity estimates made using different in-vivo modalities. The proposed approach can reliably estimate complex fibre patterns such as sharp bending and fanning, which voxel-wise approaches cannot estimate. Moreover, histology-based and in-vivo results show that the new framework allows more accurate tractography and reconstruction of maps quantifying (symmetric and asymmetric) fibre complexity.

Type: Article
Title: Improved tractography using asymmetric fibre orientation distributions
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.050
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.050
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Asymmetry, Connectome, Diffusion MRI, Structural connectivity, Tractography
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1562777
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