To apply and to evaluate the newly developed advanced fast marching algorithm (aFM) in vivo by reconstructing the human visual pathway, which is characterized by areas of extensive fiber crossing and branching, i.e., the optic chiasm and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Diffusion tensor images were acquired in 10 healthy volunteers. Due to the proximity to bony structures and air-filled spaces of the optic chiasm, a high sensitivity encoding (SENSE) reduction factor was applied to reduce image distortions in this area. To reconstruct the visual system, three different seed areas were chosen separately. The results obtained by the aFM tracking algorithm were compared and validated with known anatomy.
The visual system could be reconstructed reproducibly in all subjects and the reconstructed fiber pathways are in good agreement with known anatomy.
The present work shows that the advanced aFM, which is especially designed for overcoming tracking limitations within areas of extensive fiber crossing, handles the fiber crossing and branching within the optic chiasm and the LGN correctly, thus allowing the reconstruction of the entire human visual fiber pathway, from the intraorbital segment of the optic nerves to the visual cortex.