High-resolution line scan diffusion tensor MR imaging of white matter fiber tract anatomy

Mamata H, Mamata Y, Westin CF, Shenton ME, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, Maier SE

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2002 Jan;23(1):67-75

PMID: 11827877


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: MR diffusion tensor imaging permits detailed visualization of white matter fiber tracts. This technique, unlike T2-weighted imaging, also provides information about fiber direction. We present findings of normal white matter fiber tract anatomy at high resolution obtained by using line scan diffusion tensor imaging.

METHODS: Diffusion tensor images in axial, coronal, and sagittal sections covering the entire brain volume were obtained with line scan diffusion imaging in six healthy volunteers. Images were acquired for b factors 5 and 1000 s/mm(2) at an imaging resolution of 1.7 x 1.7 x 4 mm. For selected regions, images were obtained at a reduced field of view with a spatial resolution of 0.9 x 0.9 x 3 mm. For each pixel, the direction of maximum diffusivity was computed and used to display the course of white matter fibers.

RESULTS: Fiber directions derived from diffusion tensor imaging were consistent with known white matter fiber anatomy. The principal fiber tracts were well observed in all cases. The tracts that were visualized included the following: the arcuate fasciculus; superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculus; uncinate fasciculus; cingulum; external and extreme capsule; internal capsule; corona radiata; auditory and optic radiation; anterior commissure; corpus callosum; pyramidal tract; gracile and cuneatus fasciculus; medial longitudinal fasciculus; rubrospinal, tectospinal, central tegmental, and dorsal trigeminothalamic tract; superior, inferior, and middle cerebellar peduncle; pallidonigral and strionigral fibers; and root fibers of the oculomotor and trigeminal nerve.

CONCLUSION: We obtained a complete set of detailed white matter fiber anatomy maps of the normal brain by means of line scan diffusion tensor imaging at high resolution. Near large bone structures, line scan produces images with minimal susceptibility artifacts.