Diffusion tensor imaging tractography and reliability analysis for limbic and paralimbic white matter tracts

Psychiatry Res. 2008 Nov 30;164(2):132-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Oct 21.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides the opportunity to study white matter tracts in vivo. The goal was to estimate the reliability of DTI tractography for the analysis of limbic and paralimbic white matter. Normative data from 24 healthy subjects and reliability data from four healthy and four depressed subjects were acquired at 1.5 Tesla, using twice-refocused spin-echo, echoplanar DTI and Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) DTI sequences. Fiber tracking was performed using the Fiber Assignment by Continuous Tracking algorithm. Fractional Anisotropy (FA), trace Apparent Diffusion Coefficient and tract volumes were calculated. The inter-rater (and intra-rater) intraclass correlation coefficients for FA values were as follows: rostral cingulum 0.89 (0.87), dorsal cingulum 0.85 (0.90), parahippocampal cingulum 0.85 (0.95), uncinate fasciculus 0.85 (0.87), medial prefrontal white matter 0.97 (0.99), ventromedial prefrontal white matter 0.92 (0.93), crus of fornix 0.80 (0.81). The reported DTI protocol provides a reliable method to analyze limbic and paralimbic white matter tracts relevant to psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index