The goal of this paper is to increase the statistical power of crossing-fiber statistics in voxelwise analyses of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) data. In the proposed framework a fiber orientation atlas and a model complexity atlas were used to fit the ball-and-sticks model to diffusion-weighted images of subjects in a prospective population-based cohort study. Reproducibility and sensitivity of the partial volume fractions in the ball-and-sticks model were analyzed using TBSS (tract-based spatial statistics), and were compared to a reference framework. The reproducibility was investigated on two scans of 30 subjects acquired with an interval of approximately three weeks by studying the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The sensitivity to true biological effects was evaluated by studying the regression with age on 500 subjects between 65 and 90 years old. Compared to the reference framework, the ICC improved significantly when using the proposed framework. Higher t-statistics indicated that regression coefficients with age could be determined more precisely with the proposed framework, and more voxels correlated significantly with age. The application of a fiber orientation atlas and a model complexity atlas can significantly improve the reproducibility and sensitivity of crossing-fiber statistics in TBSS.
Arkesteijn, J., Poot, D., Ikram, M. A., Niessen, W., van Vliet, L., Vernooij, M. W., & Vos, F. (2019). Orientation Prior and Consistent Model Selection Increase Sensitivity of Tract-Based Spatial Statistics in Crossing-Fiber Regions. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 39(2), 308-319. https://doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2019.2922615