Global Diffusion Tractography by Simulated Annealing

Marc C. Robini, Matthew Ozon, Carole Frindel, Feng Yang, Yuemin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Our goal is to develop a robust global tractography method for cardiac diffusion imaging. Methods: A graph is stretched over the whole myocardium to represent the fiber structure, and the solutions are minima of a graph energy measuring the fidelity to the data along with the fiber density and curvature. The optimization is performed by a variant of simulated annealing that offers increased design freedom without sacrificing theoretical convergence guarantees. Results: Numerical experiments on synthetic and real data demonstrate the capability of our tractography algorithm to deal with low angular resolution, highly noisy data. In particular, our algorithm outperforms the Bayesian model-based algorithm of Reisert et al. (NeuroImage, vol. 54, no. 2, 2011) and the graph-based algorithm of Frindel et al. (Magn. Reson. Med., vol. 64, no. 4, 2010) at the noise levels typical of in vivo imaging. Conclusion: The proposed algorithm avoids the drawbacks of local techniques and is very robust to noise, which makes it a promising tool for in vivo diffusion imaging of moving organs. Significance: Our approach is global in terms of both the fiber structure representation and the minimization problem. It also allows us to adjust the trajectory density by simply changing the vertex-lattice spacing in the graph model, a desirable feature for multiresolution tractography analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7473911
Pages (from-to)649-660
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac imaging
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • global tractography
  • simulated annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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