Estimating orientation distribution functions with probability density constraints and spatial regularity

Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2009;12(Pt 1):877-85. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-04268-3_108.


High angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) has become an important magnetic resonance technique for in vivo imaging. Current techniques for estimating the diffusion orientation distribution function (ODF), i.e., the probability density function of water diffusion along any direction, do not enforce the estimated ODF to be nonnegative or to sum up to one. Very often this leads to an estimated ODF which is not a proper probability density function. In addition, current methods do not enforce any spatial regularity of the data. In this paper, we propose an estimation method that naturally constrains the estimated ODF to be a proper probability density function and regularizes this estimate using spatial information. By making use of the spherical harmonic representation, we pose the ODF estimation problem as a convex optimization problem and propose a coordinate descent method that converges to the minimizer of the proposed cost function. We illustrate our approach with experiments on synthetic and real data.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistical Distributions