Fixel-based analysis of diffusion MRI: methods, applications, challenges and opportunities

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S1053811921006923-main.pdf]
1-s2.0-S1053811921006923-main.pdf - Published Version (3MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Dhollander, Thijs, Clemente, Adam, Singh, Mervyn, Boonstra, Frederique, Civier, Oren, Duque, Juan Dominiguez, Egorova, Natalia, Enticott, Peter G, Fuelscher, Ian, Gajamange, Sanuji, Genc, Sila, Gottlieb, Elie, Hyde, Christian ORCID: 0000-0003-4833-4782, Imms, Phoebe, Kelly, Claire, Kirkovski, Melissa ORCID: 0000-0003-3395-8525, Kolbe, Scott, Liang, Xiaoyun, Malhotra, Atul, Mito, Remika, Poudel, Govinda, Silk, Timothy J, Vaughan, David N, Zanin, Julien, Raffelt, David and Caeyenberghs, Karen (2021) Fixel-based analysis of diffusion MRI: methods, applications, challenges and opportunities. NeuroImage, 241. ISSN 1053-8119


Diffusion MRI has provided the neuroimaging community with a powerful tool to acquire in-vivo data sensitive to microstructural features of white matter, up to 3 orders of magnitude smaller than typical voxel sizes. The key to extracting such valuable information lies in complex modelling techniques, which form the link between the rich diffusion MRI data and various metrics related to the microstructural organization. Over time, increasingly advanced techniques have been developed, up to the point where some diffusion MRI models can now provide access to properties specific to individual fibre populations in each voxel in the presence of multiple “crossing” fibre pathways. While highly valuable, such fibre-specific information poses unique challenges for typical image processing pipelines and statistical analysis. In this work, we review the “Fixel-Based Analysis” (FBA) framework, which implements bespoke solutions to this end. It has recently seen a stark increase in adoption for studies of both typical (healthy) populations as well as a wide range of clinical populations. We describe the main concepts related to Fixel-Based Analyses, as well as the methods and specific steps involved in a state-of-the-art FBA pipeline, with a focus on providing researchers with practical advice on how to interpret results. We also include an overview of the scope of all current FBA studies, categorized across a broad range of neuro-scientific domains, listing key design choices and summarizing their main results and conclusions. Finally, we critically discuss several aspects and challenges involved with the FBA framework, and outline some directions and future opportunities.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118417
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords MRI, diffusion MRI, neuroimaging, complex modelling, fiber pathways
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login