Eric S. Carlson
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Alabama
P. O. Box 870203
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0203, USA
Institute for Computational Medicine
University of Mannheim
B6, 23-29C, D-68131 Mannheim, Germany
A novel approach to noninvasively tracing brain white matter fiber tracts is presented using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI). This technique is based on successive anisotropic diffusion simulations over the human brain, which are utilized to construct three dimensional diffusion fronts. The fiber pathways are determined by evaluating the distance and orientation from the fronts to their corresponding diffusion seeds. Synthetic and real DT-MRI data are employed to demonstrate the tracking scheme. It is shown that the synthetic tracts are accurately replicated, and several major white matter fiber pathways can be reproduced noninvasively, with the tract branching being allowed. Since simulating the diffusion process, which is truly a physical phenomenon reflecting the underlying architecture of cerebral tissues, makes full use of the diffusion tensor data, including both the magnitude and orientation information, the proposed approach is expected to enhance robustness and reliability in white matter fiber reconstruction.
Mathematics Subject Classification:
This research was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation under the grant CCR-9988165, CCR-0092532, and ACR-0202934, in part by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science under grant DE-FG02-02ER45961, and in part by the University of Kentucky Research Committee.