Overcoming challenges of the human spinal cord tractography for routine clinical use: a review

Corentin Dauleac, Carole Frindel, Patrick Mertens, Timothée Jacquesson, François Cotton

研究成果: Review article査読

6 被引用数 (Scopus)


The spinal cord (SC) is a dense network of billions of fibers in a small volume surrounded by bones that makes tractography difficult to perform. We aim to provide a review collecting all technical settings of SC tractography and propose the optimal set of parameters to perform a good SC tractography rendering. The MEDLINE database was searched for articles reporting “spinal cord” “tractography” in “humans”. Studies were selected only when tractography rendering was displayed and MRI acquisition and tracking parameters detailed. From each study, clinical context, imaging acquisition settings, fiber tracking parameters, region of interest (ROI) design, and quality of the tractography rendering were extracted. Quality of tractography rendering was evaluated by several objective criteria proposed herein. According to the reported studies, to obtain a good tractography rendering, diffusion tensor imaging acquisition should be performed with 1.5 or 3 Tesla MRI, in the axial plane, with > 20 directions; b value: 1000 s mm−2; right-left phase-encoding direction for cervical SC; isotropic voxel size; and no slice gap. Concerning the tracking process, it should be performed with determinist approach, fractional anisotropy threshold between 0.15 and 0.2, and curvature threshold of 40°. ROI design is an essential step for providing good tractography rendering, and their placement has to consider partial volume effects, magnetic susceptibility effects, and motion artifacts. The review reported herein highlights that successful SC tractography depends on many factors (imaging acquisition settings, fiber tracking parameters, and ROI design) to obtain a good SC tractography rendering.

出版ステータスPublished - 2020 9月 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 放射線学、核医学およびイメージング
  • 臨床神経学
  • 循環器および心血管医学


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