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Abstract #1556

Exploring Local Geometric Structure of Fiber Tracts Using Tract-Based Director Field Analysis

Jian Cheng1,2, Tao Liu3, Feng Shi4, Ruiliang Bai5, Jicong Zhang3, Haogang Zhu3, Dacheng Tao2, and Peter J. Basser1

1National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States, 2University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 3Beihang University, Beijing, China, 4Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 5Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Inspired by distortion analysis of liquid crystals [1], we propose a novel mathematical framework, called tract-based director field analysis (TDFA), to explore the local geometric structure of fiber tracts after tractography. TDFA provides 6 scalar indices along tracts to quantify local orientational dispersion and orientational distortion (splay, bend, and twist) of fiber tracts. To our knowledge, this is the first work to quantify "splay", "bend" and "twist" of fiber tracts, although the three terms have been widely used to qualitatively describe the complexity of fiber tracts for about 20 years [2]. Synthetic and real data experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed scalar indices.

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