Tractography Techniques

Similar to “angiography,” which involves images featuring blood vessels, the term “tractography” refers to images in which the fiber tracts such as white matter fiber bundles and muscular fibers are the focus of observation. Unlike angiography, which is simply obtained using a contrast agent, tractography is conducted using 3D visualization techniques. The techniques of tractography can be classified into several types, and the major categories are defined as local and global approaches. Local approaches define the structure of fiber tracts through fiber tracking based on local information at each voxel in diffusion tensor or ODF. Global approaches, however, globally optimize the fiber tract shape to guarantee smoothness and/or match it with prior information from the tract atlas. Tractography technique development was initiated by DTT [32, 59, 196], which is classified as a local approach. In DTT techniques, fiber tracking is performed iteratively in the diffusion tensor field, similar to the manner of streamline visualization [268]. An example of DTT algorithm is shown below in Fig. 3.22 and detailed as follows:

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