DTI at long diffusion time improves fiber tracking

Swati Rane, Govind Nair, Timothy Q. Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


While diffusion-tensor-imaging tractography provides remarkable in vivo anatomical connectivity of the central nervous system, the majority of DTI studies to date are predominantly limited to tracking large white-matter fibers. This study investigated DTI tractography using long diffusion time (t diff ) to improve tracking of thinner fibers in fixed rhesus monkey brains. Stimulated Echo Acquisition Mode (STEAM) sequence on a 3T Siemens TRIO was modified to include a diffusion module. DTI was acquired using STEAM with tdiff of 48 and 192 ms with matched signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Comparisons were also made with the conventional double-spin echo (DSE) at a short tdiff of 45 ms. Not only did the fractional anisotropy increase significantly with the use of long diffusion time, but directional entropy measures indicated that there was an increased coherence amongst neighboring tensors. Further, the magnitude of the major eigenvector was larger at the tdiff=192 ms as compared to the short tdiff. Probabilistic connectivity maps at long tdiff showed larger areas of connectivity with the use of long diffusion time, which traversed deeper into areas of low anisotropy. With tractography, it was found that the length of the fibers, increased by almost 10% in the callosal fibers that branch into the paracentral gyrus, the precentral gyrus and the post central gyrus. A similar increase of about 20% was observed in the fibers of the internal capsule. These findings offer encouraging data that DTI at long diffusion time could improve tract tracing of small fibers in areas of low fractional anisotropy (FA), such as at the interfaces of white matter and grey matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-terms
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Formalin fixation
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Rhesus macaques
  • STEAM sequence
  • White matter tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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