Streamline tractography algorithms infer connectivity from diffusion MRI (dMRI) by following diffusion directions which are similarly aligned between neighboring voxels. However, not all white matter (WM) fascicles are organized in this manner. For example, Meyer's loop is a highly curved portion of the optic radiation (OR) that exhibits a narrow turn, kissing and crossing pathways, and changes in fascicle dispersion. From a neurosurgical perspective, damage to Meyer's loop carries a potential risk of inducing vision deficits to the patient, especially during temporal lobe resection surgery. To prevent such impairment, achieving an accurate delineation of Meyer's loop with tractography is thus of utmost importance. However, current algorithms tend to under-estimate the full extent of Meyer's loop, mainly attributed to the aforementioned rule for connectivity which requires a direction to be chosen across a field of orientations. In this article, it was demonstrated that MAGNEtic Tractography (MAGNET) can benefit Meyer's loop delineation by incorporating anatomical knowledge of the expected fiber orientation to overcome local ambiguities. A new ROI-mechanism was proposed which supplies additional information to streamline reconstruction algorithms by the means of oriented priors. Their results showed that MAGNET can accurately generate Meyer's loop in all of our 15 child subjects (8 males; mean age 10.2 years ± 3.1). It effectively improved streamline coverage when compared with deterministic tractography, and significantly reduced the distance between the anterior-most portion of Meyer's loop and the temporal pole by 16.7 mm on average, a crucial landmark used for preoperative planning of temporal lobe surgery. Hum Brain Mapp 38:509-527, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: Meyer's loop; ROI; anatomical prior; diffusion MRI; real-time; tractography.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.