Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), while giving rich information about brain circuitry, is often limited by insufficient spatial resolution and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This paper describes an algorithm that will increase the resolution of DW images beyond the scan resolution, allowing for a closer investigation of fiber structures and more accurate assessment of brain connectivity. The algorithm is capable of generating a dense vector-valued field, consisting of diffusion data associated with the full set of diffusion-sensitizing gradients. The fundamental premise is that, to best preserve information, interpolation should always be performed along axonal fibers. To achieve this, at each spatial location, we probe neighboring voxels in various directions to gather diffusion information for data interpolation. Based on the fiber orientation distribution function (ODF), directions that are more likely to be traversed by fibers will be given greater weights during interpolation and vice versa. This ensures that data interpolation is only contributed by diffusion data coming from fibers that are aligned with a specific direction. This approach respects local fiber structures and prevents blurring resulting from averaging of data from significantly misaligned fibers. Evaluations suggest that this algorithm yields results with significantly less blocking artifacts, greater smoothness in anatomical structures, and markedly improved structural visibility.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by a UNC start-up fund and NIH grants ( EB006733 , EB008374 , EB009634 , MH088520 , AG041721 , and MH100217 ).
- Anisotropic interpolation
- Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (DMRI)
- Resolution enhancement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience