Visualization of high angular resolution diffusion MRI data with color-coded LIC-maps
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.
In diffusion MRI a voxel's local diffusion profile may be visualized in detail by glyph-based techniques, e.g. ellipsoidal or superquadric tensor glyphs. Global representations, such as streamlines and streamtubes, provide fiber continuity, but may lead to misinterpretations due to deficiences of the tractography algorithm used. Line integral convolution (LIC) has been applied to diffusion tensors in order to bridge the gap between local and global representations. Recently, High Angular Diffusion Imaging (HARDI) techniques, such as Q-Ball Imaging (QBI), have been introduced into the clinical routine, bearing the potential of better resolving complex white matter configurations, e.g. crossing, branching and kissing fibers. In this paper we propose an extension of the LIC method to multi-directional vector fields, taking into account not only a single direction, but multiple directions of anisotropic diffusion of two or more fiber pathways passing through a voxel. For this purpose a multiple-kernel approach is presented and evaluated. We apply a color coding scheme for directional encoding of LIC slices, allowing better fiber continuity perception. Our results with simulation datasets and QBI data from a healthy volunteer emphasize the method's capability of easing the analysis of complex fiber architectures.