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Efficient global fiber tracking on multi-dimensional diffusion direction maps

: Jan, K.; Köhler, B.; Hahn, H.K.


Haynor, D.R. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Medical imaging 2012. Image processing : 6 - 9 February 2012, San Diego, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8314)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-8963-0
ISSN: 1605-7422
Paper 83140M
Conference "Image Processing" <2012, San Diego/Calif.>
Conference "Medical Imaging" <2012, San Diego/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Global fiber tracking algorithms have recently been proposed which were able to compute results of unprecedented quality. They account for avoiding accumulation errors by a global optimization process at the cost of a high computation time of several hours or even days. In this paper, we introduce a novel global fiber tracking algorithm which, for the first time, globally optimizes the underlying diffusion direction map obtained from DTI or HARDI data, instead of single fiber segments. As a consequence, the number of iterations in the optimization process can drastically be reduced by about three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, in contrast to all previous algorithms, the density of the tracked fibers can be adjusted after the optimization within a few seconds. We evaluated our method for diffusion-weighted images obtained from software phantoms, healthy volunteers, and tumor patients. We show that difficult fiber bundles, e.g., the visual pathways or tracts for differ ent motor functions can be determined and separated in an excellent quality. Furthermore, crossing and kissing bundles are correctly resolved. On current standard hardware, a dense fiber tracking result of a whole brain can be determined in less than half an hour which is a strong improvement compared to previous work.