Challenges in diffusion MRI tractography - Lessons learned from international benchmark competitions

Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 Apr:57:194-209. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2018.11.014. Epub 2018 Nov 29.


Diffusion MRI (dMRI) fiber tractography has become a pillar of the neuroimaging community due to its ability to noninvasively map the structural connectivity of the brain. Despite widespread use in clinical and research domains, these methods suffer from several potential drawbacks or limitations. Thus, validating the accuracy and reproducibility of techniques is critical for sound scientific conclusions and effective clinical outcomes. Towards this end, a number of international benchmark competitions, or "challenges", has been organized by the diffusion MRI community in order to investigate the reliability of the tractography process by providing a platform to compare algorithms and results in a fair manner, and evaluate common and emerging algorithms in an effort to advance the state of the field. In this paper, we summarize the lessons from a decade of challenges in tractography, and give perspective on the past, present, and future "challenges" that the field of diffusion tractography faces.

Keywords: Accuracy; Algorithms; Challenges; Diffusion MRI; Tractography; Validation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Benchmarking
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results