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Abstract #3386

Whole-Tract Reduction in Fractional Anisotropy in the Corticospinal Tracts of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients, as Measured Using a Weighted 3-D Region of Interest in Template Space After Deformable Diffusion Tensor Imaging Registration

John H. Woo1, Elias R. Melhem1, Sumei Wang1, Lauren Elman2, Leo McCluskey2, Lisa Desiderio1, Hui Zhang1, James Gee1

1Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease of motor neurons. Using diffusion tensor imaging, previous investigators have measured a reduction in fractional anisotropy (FA) in the corticospinal tract, thought to reflect axonal degeneration. However, these methods often required manual segmentation or individual fiber tractography to generate regions-of-interest (ROI). In this study, we performed whole-tract FA measurements using a deformable tensor-driven registration algorithm and a weighted 3D ROI of the CST in template space. We found a highly significant difference between 12 ALS patients and 7 controls. This method may be especially useful for evaluating whole-tract differences in large groups.