PURPOSE: To create diffusion tensor atlases from echo planar imaging (EPI) images acquired at 3 T in 10 normal subjects. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from 10 right-handed healthy adult volunteers (mean age of 31 +/- 3 years; eight males) were acquired using a 3.0-T scanner. Geometric distortion artifacts correction was accomplished by combining parallel acquisition to reduce the distortion as well as postprocessing by registration to a geometrically accurate T2-weighted fast-spin-echo image. This reduced distortions to within a voxel for most of the internal structures of the brain. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) atlases were created by warping images using an iterative optical-flow-based local deformation algorithm that used two channels of data: ADC and FA. RESULTS: A three-dimensional distance measure was used to evaluate the accuracy of the registration algorithm with contours defined on two structures: the corpus callosum and cerebellum. The average three-dimensional distance value for the nine subjects (with the 10th as the reference) was 0.2 mm for the corpus callosum and 1.2 mm for the cerebellum. CONCLUSION: A high-resolution, diffusion MR atlas with full brain coverage was developed. Additionally, maps of the SD of the diffusion indices were also generated to provide an estimate of the variance within a normal population. Active shape and texture models were also generated for the corpus callosum as an alternate method of representing the variance in morphology and diffusion indices.
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