Principles and limitations of computational algorithms in clinical diffusion tensor MR tractography

H. W. Chung, M. C. Chou, C. Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


There have been numerous reports documenting the graphic reconstruction of 3D white matter architecture in the human brain by means of diffusion tensor MR tractography. Different from other reviews addressing the physics and clinical applications of DTI, this article reviews the computational principles of tractography algorithms appearing in the literature. The simplest voxel-based method and 2 widely used subvoxel approaches are illustrated first, together with brief notes on parameter selection and the restrictions arising from the distinct attributes of tract estimations. Subsequently, some advanced techniques attempting to offer improvement in various aspects are briefly introduced, including the increasingly popular research tracking tool using HARDI. The article explains the inherent technical limitations in most of the algorithms reported to date and concludes by providing a reference guideline for formulating routine applications of this important tool to clinical neuroradiology in an objective and reproducible manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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