Multi-contrast multi-atlas parcellation of diffusion tensor imaging of the human brain

Xiaoying Tang, Shoko Yoshida, John Hsu, Thierry A.G.M. Huisman, Andreia V. Faria, Kenichi Oishi, Kwame Kutten, Andrea Poretti, Yue Li, Michael I. Miller, Susumu Mori

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40 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a novel method for parcellating the human brain into 193 anatomical structures based on diffusion tensor images (DTIs). This was accomplished in the setting of multi-contrast diffeomorphic likelihood fusion using multiple DTI atlases. DTI images are modeled as high dimensional fields, with each voxel exhibiting a vector valued feature comprising of mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), and fiber angle. For each structure, the probability distribution of each element in the feature vector is modeled as a mixture of Gaussians, the parameters of which are estimated from the labeled atlases. The structure-specific feature vector is then used to parcellate the test image. For each atlas, a likelihood is iteratively computed based on the structure-specific vector feature. The likelihoods from multiple atlases are then fused. The updating and fusing of the likelihoods is achieved based on the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation problems. We first demonstrate the performance of the algorithm by examining the parcellation accuracy of 18 structures from 25 subjects with a varying degree of structural abnormality. Dice values ranging 0.8-0.9 were obtained. In addition, strong correlation was found between the volume size of the automated and the manual parcellation. Then, we present scan-rescan reproducibility based on another dataset of 16 DTI images - an average of 3.73%, 1.91%, and 1.79% for volume, mean FA, and mean MD respectively. Finally, the range of anatomical variability in the normal population was quantified for each structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere96985
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 8 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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