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Neuroimage. 2008 Jan 1;39(1):62-79. Epub 2007 Aug 7.

Atlas-based segmentation of white matter tracts of the human brain using diffusion tensor tractography and comparison with classical dissection.

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Department of Basic Medical Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK.


The technique of diffusion tensor tractography is gaining increasing prominence as a non-invasive method for studying the architecture of the white matter pathways in the human brain. Numerous studies have been published that attempt to identify or reconstruct particular pathways of interest. An atlas or map of all the pathways in the white matter would be particularly useful for providing detailed anatomical data that is not available in studies based on conventional MRI data. In this paper we present a method for constructing a white matter atlas to define structures from diffusion tensor tractography by making use of the locations of the anatomical terminations of individual streamlines that pass through white matter. We show how a map of unique seed regions can be used to generate tracts of interest. This approach provides anatomical information that can be rapidly applied to MRI datasets for the clear identification of white matter tracts. We show close correspondence of the tracts generated from the atlas with tracts isolated with classical dissection of post-mortem brain tissue.

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