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Abstract #3478

Atlas Construction in Diffusion MRI via Angular Patch Matching

Zhanlong Yang1,2, Geng Chen2, Dinggang Shen2, and Pew-Thian Yap2

1College of Marine, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China, 2Department of Radiology and BRIC, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

Construction of brain atlases is generally carried out using a two-step procedure involving registering a population of images to a common space and then fusing the aligned images to form an atlas. In practice, image registration is not perfect and simple averaging of the images will blur structures and cause artifacts. In diffusion MRI, the problem is even more challenging, since the alignment of gross anatomical structures does not necessarily guarantee the alignment of the microstructural information captured in each voxel. In this situation, it is unclear for example how signals characterizing fiber bundles of varying orientations, which can occur naturally across subjects, should be fused to form the atlas. Moreover, the commonly used simple averaging method is sensitive to outliers.

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