Whole brain fiber-based comparison (FBC)-A tool for diffusion tensor imaging-based cohort studies

Gali Zimmerman-Moreno*, Dafna Ben Bashat, Moran Artzi, Beatrice Nefussy, Vivian Drory, Orna Aizenstein, Hayit Greenspan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a novel method for fiber-based comparison of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans of groups of subjects. The method entails initial preprocessing and fiber reconstruction by tractography of each brain in its native coordinate system. Several diffusion parameters are sampled along each fiber and used in subsequent comparisons. A spatial correspondence between subjects is established based on geometric similarity between fibers in a template set (several choices for template are explored), and fibers in all other subjects. Diffusion parameters between groups are compared statistically for each template fiber. Results are presented at single fiber resolution. As an initial exploratory step in neurological population studies this method points to the locations affected by the pathology of interest, without requiring a hypothesis. It does not make any grouping assumptions on the fibers and no manual intervention is needed. The framework was applied here to 18 healthy subjects and 23 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. The results are compatible with previous findings and with the tract based spatial statistics (TBSS) method. Hum Brain Mapp 37:477-490, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • ALS
  • Axial diffusivity
  • DTI
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Mean diffusivity
  • Radial diffusivity
  • Tractogram
  • White matter fibers
  • Whole brain tractography


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