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Abstract #0804

Anatomical Accuracy of Diffusion MRI Tractography: Testing the Fundamental Limits

Cibu P Thomas 1,2 , Frank Q Ye 3 , Mustafa Okan Irfanoglu 1,2 , Pooja D Modi 1 , Kadharbatcha S Saleem 3 , David A Leopold 3 , and Carlo Pierpaoli 1

1 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 2 Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, USUHS, Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 3 National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Although tractography based on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) is a widely used technique for mapping the structural connections of the brain in vivo, its anatomical accuracy is highly questionable. It is generally assumed that this limitation can be resolved if DWI data with sufficiently high spatial and angular resolution and superior signal to noise ratio (SNR) can be acquired. Here, we report that despite using DWI data of unprecedented quality none of the tractography techniques we tested consistently showed superior anatomical accuracy. These results suggest that the quest for an optimal diffusion tractography technique may be elusive.

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