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PLoS One. 2019 Dec 12;14(12):e0226153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226153. eCollection 2019.

Fiber visualization for preoperative glioma assessment: Tractography versus local connectivity mapping.

Author information

1
Institute for Applied Computer Science, Stralsund University of Applied Sciences, Stralsund, Germany.
2
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

In diffusion MRI, the advent of high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) and HARDI with compressed sensing (HARDI+CS) has led to clinically practical signal acquisition techniques which allow for the assessment of white matter architecture in routine patient studies. However, the reconstruction and visualization of fiber pathways by tractography has not yet been established as a standard methodology which can easily be applied. This is due to various algorithmic problems, such as a lack of robustness, error propagation and the necessity of fine-tuning parameters depending on the clinical question. In the framework of a clinical study of glioma patients, we compare two different whole-brain tracking methods to a local connectivity mapping approach which has recently shown promising results in an adaptation to diffusion MRI. The ability of the three methods to correctly depict fiber affection is analyzed by comparing visualization results to representations of local diffusion profiles provided by orientation distribution functions (ODFs). Our results suggest that methods beyond fiber tractography, which visualize local connectedness rather than global connectivity, should be evaluated further for pre-surgical assessment of fiber affection.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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