Intermediate templates guided groupwise registration of diffusion tensor images

Hongjun Jia, Pew Thian Yap, Guorong Wu, Qian Wang, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Registration of a population of diffusion tensor images (DTIs) is one of the key steps in medical image analysis, and it plays an important role in the statistical analysis of white matter related neurological diseases. However, pairwise registration with respect to a pre-selected template may not give precise results if the selected template deviates significantly from the distribution of images. To cater for more accurate and consistent registration, a novel framework is proposed for groupwise registration with the guidance from one or more intermediate templates determined from the population of images. Specifically, we first use a Euclidean distance, defined as a combinative measure based on the FA map and ADC map, for gauging the similarity of each pair of DTIs. A fully connected graph is then built with each node denoting an image and each edge denoting the distance between a pair of images. The root template image is determined automatically as the image with the overall shortest path length to all other images on the minimum spanning tree (MST) of the graph. Finally, a sequence of registration steps is applied to progressively warping each image towards the root template image with the help of intermediate templates distributed along its path to the root node on the MST. Extensive experimental results using diffusion tensor images of real subjects indicate that registration accuracy and fiber tract alignment are significantly improved, compared with the direct registration from each image to the root template image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-939
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grants EB006733, EB008760, EB008374, MH088520 and EB009634.


  • Diffusion tensor image
  • Fiber tract alignment
  • Groupwise registration
  • Image registration
  • Intermediate templates
  • Minimum spanning tree (MST)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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