Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Neuroinform., 14 October 2011 | doi: 10.3389/fninf.2011.00023

Automated probabilistic reconstruction of white-matter pathways in health and disease using an atlas of the underlying anatomy

Anastasia Yendiki1*, Patricia Panneck2, Priti Srinivasan1, Allison Stevens1, Lilla Zöllei1, Jean Augustinack1, Ruopeng Wang1, David Salat1, Stefan Ehrlich3,4, Tim Behrens5, Saad Jbabdi5, Randy Gollub1,4 and Bruce Fischl1,6
  • 1 Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • 2 Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany
  • 3 Translational Developmental Neuroscience Section, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • 5 Department of Clinical Neurology, Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • 6 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

We have developed a method for automated probabilistic reconstruction of a set of major white-matter pathways from diffusion-weighted MR images. Our method is called TRACULA (TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy) and utilizes prior information on the anatomy of the pathways from a set of training subjects. By incorporating this prior knowledge in the reconstruction procedure, our method obviates the need for manual interaction with the tract solutions at a later stage and thus facilitates the application of tractography to large studies. In this paper we illustrate the application of the method on data from a schizophrenia study and investigate whether the inclusion of both patients and healthy subjects in the training set affects our ability to reconstruct the pathways reliably. We show that, since our method does not constrain the exact spatial location or shape of the pathways but only their trajectory relative to the surrounding anatomical structures, a set a of healthy training subjects can be used to reconstruct the pathways accurately in patients as well as in controls.

Keywords: tractography, diffusion MRI, white matter

Citation: Yendiki A, Panneck P, Srinivasan P, Stevens A, Zöllei L, Augustinack J, Wang R, Salat D, Ehrlich S, Behrens T, Jbabdi S, Gollub R and Fischl B (2011) Automated probabilistic reconstruction of white-matter pathways in health and disease using an atlas of the underlying anatomy. Front. Neuroinform. 5:23. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2011.00023

Received: 19 March 2011; Accepted: 23 September 2011;
Published online: 14 October 2011.

Edited by:

Claus Hilgetag, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Reviewed by:

Simon B. Eickhoff, Institut for Medicine, Germany
Marc Tittgemeyer, Max-Planck-Institute for Neurological Research, Germany

Copyright: © 2011 Yendiki, Panneck, Srinivasan, Stevens, Zöllei, Augustinack, Wang, Salat, Ehrlich, Behrens, Jbabdi, Gollub and Fischl. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Anastasia Yendiki, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, 149 13th Street Suite 2301, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. e-mail: ayendiki@nmr.mgh. harvard.edu

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