Background: The fiber-tracking based on diffusion
magnetic resonance imaging technique is one of the methods that indirectly
examine the structural information about the cerebral white matter in vivo.
Conventionally, fiber-tracking approaches are accompanied with manual settings
of the starting regions of fiber tracking, which is usually very time-consuming
and unsuitable for large-scale data analysis.
order to clarify the physical fiber connections associated with
disease-specific neural circuits for various neuropsychiatric disorders, we
proposed an automated diffusion magnetic resonance imaging based whole-brain
fiber-tracking method combined with an atlas separating 54 regions of the white
Methods: The propose method automatically set the
fiber-tracking starting plane in each parcel and rotated along the running
direction of fibers as well so that it enabled swift, objective, and
reproducible analysis. The method was verified with real diffusion magnetic
resonance imaging data recorded from three healthy volunteers.
Results: The mean fiber direction for each parcel was confirmed to fit the anatomical
configuration. The fiber-tracking streamlines were confirmed to run along the
first eigenvector of diffusion tensor and to terminate according to the pre-set
termination condition. The major fiber tracts of the 54 white matter parcels
were relevantly reconstructed.
Conclusion: The results
demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed automated whole-brain atlas-based
fiber-tracking method for investigating white matter disruptions associated
with neuropsychiatric disorders especially in large-scale datasets.