Visualising the topography of the acoustic radiation in clinical diffusion tensor imaging scans

S. Bryn Dhir, Kwame S. Kutten, Muwei Li, Andreia V. Faria, Laurent Younes, J. Tilak Ratnanather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: It has long been thought that the acoustic radiation (AR) white matter fibre tract from the medial geniculate body of the thalamus to the Heschl’s gyrus cannot be reconstructed via single-fibre analysis of clinical diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans. A recently developed single-fibre probabilistic method suggests otherwise. The method uses dynamic programming (DP) to compute the most probable paths between two regions of interest. This study aims to observe the ability of single-fibre probabilistic analysis via DP to visualise the AR in clinical DTI scans from legacy pilot cohorts of subjects with normal hearing (NH) and profound hearing loss (HL). Methods: Single-fibre probabilistic analysis via DP was applied to reconstruct 3D models of the AR in the two cohorts. DTI and T1 data at 1.5 T for subjects with NH (n = 11) and HL (n = 5), as well as 3 T for NH (n = 1) and HL (n = 1), were used. Results: The topographical features of AR previously observed in post-mortem and multi-fibre analyses can be visualised in DTI scans of 16 subjects and 2 atlases with a success rate of 100%. Relative to MNI coordinates, there was no significant difference in the varifold distances between the topography of the tracts in the 1.5 T cohort. Conclusion: The AR can be visualised in clinical 1.5 T and 3 T DTI scans using single-fibre probabilistic analysis via DP, hence, the potential for DP to visualise the AR in medical and pre-surgical applications in pathologies such as vestibular schwannoma, multiple sclerosis, thalamic tumours and stroke as well as hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1167
Number of pages11
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Acoustic radiation
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Dynamic programming
  • Probabilistic tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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