Purpose: To develop, test, evaluate and apply a novel tool for the white matter fiber-based analysis of T1w/T2w ratio maps quantifying myelin content. Background: The cerebral white matter in the human brain develops from a mostly non-myelinated state to a nearly fully mature white matter myelination within the first few years of life. High resolution T1w/T2w ratio maps are believed to be effective in quantitatively estimating myelin content on a voxel-wise basis. We propose the use of a fiber-tract-based analysis of such T1w/T2w ratio data, as it allows us to separate fiber bundles that a common regional analysis imprecisely groups together, and to associate effects to specific tracts rather than large, broad regions. Methods: We developed an intuitive, open source tool to facilitate such fiber-based studies of T1w/T2w ratio maps. Via its Graphical User Interface (GUI) the tool is accessible to non-technical users. The framework uses calibrated T1w/T2w ratio maps and a prior fiber atlas as an input to generate profiles of T1w/T2w values. The resulting fiber profiles are used in a statistical analysis that performs along-tract functional statistical analysis. We applied this approach to a preliminary study of early brain development in neonates. Results: We developed an open-source tool for the fiber based analysis of T1w/T2w ratio maps and tested it in a study of brain development.
Haiwei Chen, Francois Budin, Jean Noel, Juan Carlos Prieto, John Gilmore, Jerod Rasmussen, Pathik D. Wadhwa, Sonja Entringer, Claudia Buss, and Martin Styner, "White matter fiber-based analysis of T1w/T2w ratio map," Proc. SPIE 10133, Medical Imaging 2017: Image Processing, 101330P (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 13, 2017; Published: 24 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254467.
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