Atlasing location, asymmetry and inter-subject variability of white matter tracts in the human brain with MR diffusion tractography

Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Dominic H. ffytche, Alberto Bizzi, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Matthew Allin, Muriel Walshe, Robin Murray, Steven C. Williams, Declan G.M. Murphy, Marco Catani
NeuroImage. 2011-01-01; 54(1): 49-59
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.055

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1. Neuroimage. 2011 Jan 1;54(1):49-59. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.055. Epub
2010 Aug 2.

Atlasing location, asymmetry and inter-subject variability of white matter tracts
in the human brain with MR diffusion tractography.

Thiebaut de Schotten M(1), Ffytche DH, Bizzi A, Dell’Acqua F, Allin M, Walshe M,
Murray R, Williams SC, Murphy DG, Catani M.

Author information:
(1)Natbrainlab, Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute
of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK.

The purpose of this study is to create a white matter atlas of the human brain
using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography and to describe the constant
and variable features of the major pathways. DTI was acquired from 40 healthy
right-handed adults and reconstructed tracts mapped within a common reference
space (MNI). Group effect maps of each tract defined constant anatomical features
while overlap maps were generated to study inter-subject variability and to
compare DTI derived anatomy with a histological atlas. Two patients were studied
to assess the localizing validity of the atlas. The DTI-derived maps are overall
consistent with a previously published histological atlas. A statistically
significant leftward asymmetry was found for the volume and number of streamlines
of the cortico-spinal tract and the direct connections between Broca’s and
Wernicke’s territories (long segment). A statistically significant rightward
asymmetry was found for the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and the
fronto-parietal connections (anterior segment) of the arcuate fasciculus.
Furthermore, males showed a left lateralization of the fronto-temporal segment of
the arcuate fasciculus (long segment), while females had a more bilateral
distribution. In two patients with brain lesions, DTI was acquired and
tractography used to show that the tracts affected by the lesions were correctly
identified by the atlas. This study suggests that DTI-derived maps can be used
together with a previous histological atlas to establish the relationship of
focal lesions with nearby tracts and improve clinico-anatomical correlation.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.055
PMID: 20682348 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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