The Orientation Distribution Function (ODF) is used to describe the directionality of multimodal diffusion in regions with complex fiber architecture present in brain and other biological tissues. In this study, an approximation for the ODF of water diffusion from diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI) is presented. DKI requires only a relatively limited number of diffusion measurements and, for the brain, b values no higher than 2500 s/mm(2). The DKI-based ODF approximation is decomposed into two components representing the Gaussian and non-Gaussian (NG) diffusion contributions, respectively. Simulations of multiple fiber configurations show that both the total and the NG-ODF are able to resolve the orientations of the component fibers, with the NG-ODF being the most sensitive to profiling the fibers' directions. Orientation maps obtained for in vivo brain imaging data demonstrate multiple fiber components in brain regions with complex anatomy. The results appear to be in agreement with known white matter architecture.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.