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Individual Variations of the Human Corticospinal Tract and its Hand-related Motor Fibers using Diffusion MRI Tractography

Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publication Date:
Brain Imaging Behav
Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Jan 8.
PubMed ID:
Corticospinal tract, Diffusion tensor imaging, Neural repair, Quantification, Two-tensor tractography
Appears in Collections:
P41 EB015902/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
R21 DA042271/National Institute of Drug Abuse/
K24 MH116366/National Institute of Mental Health/
R01 MH112748/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R21 AT008865/AT/NCCIH NIH HHS/United States
R21 DA042271/DA/NIDA NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH112748/National Institute of Mental Health/
R01 MH111917/National Institute of Mental Health/
R01 AG042512/National Institute of Aging & National Institute of Mental Health/
Generated Citation:
Dalamagkas K., Tsintou M., Rathi Y., O'Donnell L.J., Pasternak O., Gong X., Zhu A., Savadjiev P., Papadimitriou G.M., Kubicki M., Yeterian E.H., Makris N. Individual Variations of the Human Corticospinal Tract and its Hand-related Motor Fibers using Diffusion MRI Tractography. Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Jan 8. PMID: 30617788. PMCID: PMC6614022.
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The corticospinal tract (CST) is one of the most well studied tracts in human neuroanatomy. Its clinical significance can be demonstrated in many notable traumatic conditions and diseases such as stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). With the advent of diffusion MRI and tractography the computational representation of the human CST in a 3D model became available. However, the representation of the entire CST and, specifically, the hand motor area has remained elusive. In this paper we propose a novel method, using manually drawn ROIs based on robustly identifiable neuroanatomic structures to delineate the entire CST and isolate its hand motor representation as well as to estimate their variability and generate a database of their volume, length and biophysical parameters. Using 37 healthy human subjects we performed a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the CST and the hand-related motor fiber tracts (HMFTs). Finally, we have created variability heat maps from 37 subjects for both the aforementioned tracts, which could be utilized as a reference for future studies with clinical focus to explore neuropathology in both trauma and disease states.