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20 March 2015 Estimating diffusion properties in complex fiber configurations based on structure-adaptive multi-valued tensor-field filtering
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Conventionally, a single rank-2 tensor is used to assess the white matter integrity in diffusion imaging of the human brain. However, a single tensor fails to describe the diffusion in fiber crossings. Although a dual tensor model is able to do so, the low signal-to-noise ratio hampers reliable parameter estimation as the number of parameters is doubled.

We present a framework for structure-adaptive tensor field filtering to enhance the statistical analysis in complex fiber structures. In our framework, a tensor model will be fitted based on an automated relevance determination method. Particularly, a single tensor model is applied to voxels in which the data seems to represent a single fiber and a dualtensor model to voxels appearing to contain crossing fibers. To improve the estimation of the model parameters we propose a structure-adaptive tensor filter that is applied to tensors belonging to the same fiber compartment only.

It is demonstrated that the structure-adaptive tensor-field filter improves the continuity and regularity of the estimated tensor field. It outperforms an existing denoising approach called LMMSE, which is applied to the diffusion-weighted images. Track-based spatial statistics analysis of fiber-specific FA maps show that the method sustains the detection of more subtle changes in white matter tracts than the classical single-tensor-based analysis.

Thus, the filter enhances the applicability of the dual-tensor model in diffusion imaging research. Specifically, the reliable estimation of two tensor diffusion properties facilitates fiber-specific extraction of diffusion features.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jianfei Yang, Dirk H. J. Poot, Georgius A. M. Arkesteijn, Matthan W.A. Caan, Lucas J. van Vliet, and Frans M. Vos "Estimating diffusion properties in complex fiber configurations based on structure-adaptive multi-valued tensor-field filtering", Proc. SPIE 9413, Medical Imaging 2015: Image Processing, 941320 (20 March 2015);

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