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From qualitative to quantitative tractography: a novel method to measure variation and error in diffusion mr tractography datasets of the myocardium
© Mekkaoui et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Published: 2 February 2011
To define a robust quantitative parameter to measure physiological variation and experimental error in diffusion MRI tractography datasets of the myocardium
Techniques to analyze diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI) datasets in the myocardium are limited. In a recent major advance, diffusion MRI tractography was used to visualize myofiber bundles as continuous 3-dimensional tracts (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2009; 2(3):206-12). However, the tractographic scheme used in this work, while of major value, was purely qualitative. A strong need exists to develop quantitative tools for the visualization and analysis of diffusion MRI tractography datasets in the heart.
A new metric (NQE) for quantifying the quality of tractography datasets in the myocardium is introduced. The technique was able to robustly differentiate high quality and noisy datasets in all 3 species. We also show tractographically, for the first time and with high confidence (low NQE), that myofibers in the remote zone of an infarct undergo a rightward rotation in helix angle. The NQE can be calculated from any tractographic dataset and is thus a highly powerful, generalizeable and translatable metric.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.