Probabilistic diffusion tractography with multiple fibre orientations: What can we gain?

Neuroimage. 2007 Jan 1;34(1):144-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.09.018. Epub 2006 Oct 27.


We present a direct extension of probabilistic diffusion tractography to the case of multiple fibre orientations. Using automatic relevance determination, we are able to perform online selection of the number of fibre orientations supported by the data at each voxel, simplifying the problem of tracking in a multi-orientation field. We then apply the identical probabilistic algorithm to tractography in the multi- and single-fibre cases in a number of example systems which have previously been tracked successfully or unsuccessfully with single-fibre tractography. We show that multi-fibre tractography offers significant advantages in sensitivity when tracking non-dominant fibre populations, but does not dramatically change tractography results for the dominant pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Diffusion
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neural Pathways