Simultaneous ODF estimation and tractography in HARDI

H. Ertan Cetingul, Mariappan Nadar, Paul Thompson, Guillermo Sapiro, Christophe Lenglet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We consider the problem of tracking white matter fibers in high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) data while simultaneously estimating the local fiber orientation profile. Prior work showed that an unscented Kalman filter (UKF) can be used for this problem, yet existing algorithms employ parametric mixture models to represent water diffusion and to define the state space. To address this restrictive model dependency, we propose to extend the UKF to HARDI data modeled by orientation distribution functions (ODFs), a more generic diffusion model. We consider the spherical harmonic representation of the HARDI signal as the state, enforce nonnegativity of the ODFs, and perform tractography using the directions at which the ODFs attain their peaks. In simulations, our method outperforms filtered two-tensor tractography at different levels of noise by achieving a reduction in mean Chamfer error of 0.05 to 0.27 voxels; it also produced in vivo fiber tracking that is consistent with the neuroanatomy.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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