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White matter fiber bundles of the human brain form a spatial pattern defined by the anatomical and functional architecture. Tractography applied to the tensor field in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) results in sets of streamlines which can be associated with major fiber tracts. Comparison of fiber tract properties across subjects needs comparison at corresponding anatomical locations. Moreover, clinical analysis studying fiber tract disruption and integrity requires analysis along tracts and within cross-sections, which is hard to accomplish by conventional region of interest and voxel-based analysis. We propose a new framework for MR DTI analysis that includes tractography, fiber clustering, alignment via local shape parametrization and diffusion analysis across and along tracts. Feasibility is shown with the uncinate fasciculus and the cortico-spinal tracts. The extended set of features including fiber tract geometry and diffusion properties might lead to an improved understanding of diffusion properties and its association to normal/abnormal brain development.
Date of Conference: 1-5 Sept. 2004