Three-dimensional reference and stereotactic atlas of human cerebrovasculature from 7Tesla

Neuroimage. 2011 Apr 1;55(3):986-98. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.12.079. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Although there exist some reference and stereotactic anatomical human brain atlases, there is no equivalent cerebrovascular atlas. A 3D reference atlas of the human cerebrovasculature that is interactive, stereotactic, very detailed, completely parcellated, fully labeled, extendable, dissectible, deformable, and user friendly, is needed in education, training, research, and clinical applications. We constructed a sophisticated and very detailed cerebrovascular atlas with 1325 vascular segments, the smallest of 80 μm in diameter. The atlas was created from multiple 3 and 7T scans by employing tools and methods developed in our lab. In contrast to a sort of "sampled" vascular geometry cited in the literature, we provide information about the "continuous" geometry of the vascular model measurable in 3D at every location and along any vascular segment for both hemispheres. This cerebrovascular atlas was validated taking into account domain knowledge from various fields including angiography, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, (clinical) neuroanatomy, and terminology. Validation was considered as a confirmation of the created vascular model to a typical (conventional) cerebrovascular system with nearly average dimensions. It was done in terms of vessel subdivision, origin, course, surrounding anatomy, patterns, length, diameter, and branches. This validation demonstrates that the constructed cerebrovascular model generally represents a normal, typical cerebrovasculature with its dimensions close to average. This 7T atlas along with the vascular model is a rich source of knowledge about the human cerebrovasculature. The atlas is applicable in education, research, and clinical applications; it has already been applied in deep brain stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional
  • Atlases as Topic
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Internet
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*