White matter fiber tractography and color mapping of the normal human cerebellum with diffusion tensor imaging

J Neuroradiol. 2007 May;34(2):115-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neurad.2007.03.002.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) color mapping and fiber tractography was used to study the white matter within the cerebellum along with the afferent and efferent tracts associated with the cerebellum in 24 normal human subjects. The most prominent structures that can be readily identified using these DTI techniques are the middle, inferior and superior cerebellar peduncles. Furthermore DTI shows transverse white matter fiber that cross between the two cerebellar hemispheres at the level of the vermis. At the hemispheric level fibers to the dentate, to the emboliform nuclei are clearly visible on DTI as is the afferent pathway represented by the middle cerebellar peduncle. Selective DTI fiber tractography provides very exquisite images of the cerebellar peduncles and of the fibers projecting to and from the cerebellar cortex. This study demonstrates that DTI is complementary to conventional MRI in that DTI elucidates the orientation of white matter fiber bundles that are associated with the cerebellum. Therefore we anticipate that DTI will become an important adjunct to conventional MRI for clinical and basic studies of cerebellar ataxias and congenital disorders involving the cerebellum and brain stem. This work provides a summary of the normal DTI appearance of the cerebellar white matter which will be useful for interpreting DTI results in clinical populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Color
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged