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BootGraph: Probabilistic fiber tractography using bootstrap algorithms and graph theory


Vorburger, Robert S; Reischauer, Carolin; Boesiger, Peter (2013). BootGraph: Probabilistic fiber tractography using bootstrap algorithms and graph theory. NeuroImage, 66:426-435.

Abstract

Bootstrap methods have recently been introduced to diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to estimate the measurement uncertainty of ensuing diffusion parameters directly from the acquired data without the necessity to assume a noise model. These methods have been previously combined with deterministic streamline tractography algorithms to allow for the assessment of connection probabilities in the human brain. Thereby, the local noise induced disturbance in the diffusion data is accumulated additively due to the incremental progression of streamline tractography algorithms. Graph based approaches have been proposed to overcome this drawback of streamline techniques. For this reason, the bootstrap method is in the present work incorporated into a graph setup to derive a new probabilistic fiber tractography method, called BootGraph. The acquired data set is thereby converted into a weighted, undirected graph by defining a vertex in each voxel and edges between adjacent vertices. By means of the cone of uncertainty, which is derived using the wild bootstrap, a weight is thereafter assigned to each edge. Two path finding algorithms are subsequently applied to derive connection probabilities. While the first algorithm is based on the shortest path approach, the second algorithm takes all existing paths between two vertices into consideration. Tracking results are compared to an established algorithm based on the bootstrap method in combination with streamline fiber tractography and to another graph based algorithm. The BootGraph shows a very good performance in crossing situations with respect to false negatives and permits incorporating additional constraints, such as a curvature threshold. By inheriting the advantages of the bootstrap method and graph theory, the BootGraph method provides a computationally efficient and flexible probabilistic tractography setup to compute connection probability maps and virtual fiber pathways without the drawbacks of streamline tractography algorithms or the assumption of a noise distribution. Moreover, the BootGraph can be applied to common DTI data sets without further modifications and shows a high repeatability. Thus, it is very well suited for longitudinal studies and meta-studies based on DTI.

Abstract

Bootstrap methods have recently been introduced to diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to estimate the measurement uncertainty of ensuing diffusion parameters directly from the acquired data without the necessity to assume a noise model. These methods have been previously combined with deterministic streamline tractography algorithms to allow for the assessment of connection probabilities in the human brain. Thereby, the local noise induced disturbance in the diffusion data is accumulated additively due to the incremental progression of streamline tractography algorithms. Graph based approaches have been proposed to overcome this drawback of streamline techniques. For this reason, the bootstrap method is in the present work incorporated into a graph setup to derive a new probabilistic fiber tractography method, called BootGraph. The acquired data set is thereby converted into a weighted, undirected graph by defining a vertex in each voxel and edges between adjacent vertices. By means of the cone of uncertainty, which is derived using the wild bootstrap, a weight is thereafter assigned to each edge. Two path finding algorithms are subsequently applied to derive connection probabilities. While the first algorithm is based on the shortest path approach, the second algorithm takes all existing paths between two vertices into consideration. Tracking results are compared to an established algorithm based on the bootstrap method in combination with streamline fiber tractography and to another graph based algorithm. The BootGraph shows a very good performance in crossing situations with respect to false negatives and permits incorporating additional constraints, such as a curvature threshold. By inheriting the advantages of the bootstrap method and graph theory, the BootGraph method provides a computationally efficient and flexible probabilistic tractography setup to compute connection probability maps and virtual fiber pathways without the drawbacks of streamline tractography algorithms or the assumption of a noise distribution. Moreover, the BootGraph can be applied to common DTI data sets without further modifications and shows a high repeatability. Thus, it is very well suited for longitudinal studies and meta-studies based on DTI.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:25 Mar 2013 08:15
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 19:07
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.10.058
PubMed ID:23110883

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