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The Analyze MR Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Add-On computes and saves the primary diffusion maps from diffusion-encoded MRI data. The module also provides standard visualizations of DTI data and includes fiber tractography and visualization.
The DTI Add-On requires a base volume and the collection of diffusion-weighted volumes. A minimum of six gradient-encoded volumes is required for computation of the DTI maps. Note that the DTI Add-On now supports any number of diffusion directions. The DTI Add-On supports the loading of DTI data as a 4D multivolume, allowing for easier loading of multiple directional diffusion volumes.
When the volumes are loaded into the DTI Add-On, the module will attempt to read the gradient directions from the header information. If the gradient directions are found, they will be displayed on the volume selection button. If this information is not present in the header, gradients can be entered manually using the Diffusion Gradient Orientation input options in the Configuration tab, or imported from a text file. The diffusion tensor is estimated from these volumes and standard diffusion maps are generated including: apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), fractional anisotropy (FA), relative anisotropy (RA), volume ratio (VR), axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity maps. In addition, a color-encoded volume is generated to display direction of the principal diffusion vectors at each voxel, called the eigenvector color map (EVCM).
The DTI Add-On has been enhanced with Fiber Tractography, which provides the ability to visualize white matter tracts. Specific anatomy can be tracked via the use of object maps which are defined in other Analyze modules, for example the Region of Interest (ROI) module. Once the object map is loaded into the DTI Add-On, fibers running through the defined ROI can be displayed. If multiple ROIs have been defined, a boolean operator can be used to control the display of the fibers; the user can choose to display all fibers running through all ROIs, or just the fibers that run through each ROI. The DTI Add-On provides an interactive display of the intersecting orthogonal sections with 3D display of the fibers.