Problems with fiber tracking in visualizing the white matter tract

Kuniyasu Niizuma, Toshihiro Kumabe, Hiroaki Shimizu, Shuichi Higano, Shoki Takahashi, Teiji Tominaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fiber tracking using diffusion-weighted tensor imaging is a technique revealing the anisotropy and orientation of white matter tracts in the brain, and may become an important tool for the diagnosis and deciding treatment strategies for diseases of the central nervous system. However, several problems with this technique have been pointed out in the past studies, such as, how to define the regions of interest (ROI), how to track the fibers in edematous areas, and how to resolve crossing fibers. To analyze the utility of the fiber tracking method, we applied this technique to 178 patients with intracranial mass lesions. In the present study, we would like to mention two other issues in utilizing fiber tracking as follows : 1) fibers sometimes can be drawn along with the boundary of large tumors, which misleads the position of the primary fibers, 2) obviously different depictions of fibers can be obtained by simply exchanging seed ROI and target ROI with each other. Fiber tracking is a developing tool, so further investigation about the problems pointed in this study and a validation study of depicted fibers are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun


  • Corticospinal tract
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fiber tracking
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • White matter tracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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