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Abstract #4238

Fully Automated Straightening of the Spinal Cord Using Fiber Tractography

Demian Wassermann1, Julien Cohen-Hadad2,3, Stephane Lehericy4, Habib Benali5, Serge Rossignol6, Rachid Deriche1

1INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis, PACA, France, Metropolitan; 2Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, MGH, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA,, Charleston, MA, United States; 3UMRS 678, Laboratoire d'Imagerie Fonctionnelle, Inserm, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Paris, Ile-de-France, France, Metropolitan; 4Center for NeuroImaging Research, Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Paris, Ile-de-France, France; 5Inserm, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMRS 678, Laboratoire d'Imagerie Fonctionnelle, Paris, Ile-de-France, France; 6Groupe de recherche sur le Systme Nerveux Central, Dpartement de Physiologie, Universit de Montral, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Spinal Cord MRI (SC-MRI) is a challenging research field with numerous important clinical and basic research applications. Some of the SC-MRI applications strongly need to deal with a well straightened spinal cord either for appropriate methodological developments, for better visualization or diagnostic purposes. In this article, we develop an efficient and automatic method to straighten the spinal cord image and fibres. Diffusion Tensor MRI is first used to recover by tractography the bundles of fibres related to the spinal cord. An efficient Gaussian process framework is then used to automatically recover in a robust way the most representative fibre which is used to interpolate and straighten the spinal cord image and fibres. Our method is successfully tested on real images of one cat with partial spinal cord injury and two healthy volunteers. This capability to reliably reconstruct straightened animal and human spinal cord opens new opportunities for SC-MRI applications.