FIESTA: FIber gEneration and bundle Segmentation in Tractography using Autoencoders

by   Félix Dumais, et al.

White matter bundle segmentation is a cornerstone of modern tractography to study the brain's structural connectivity in domains such as neurological disorders, neurosurgery, and aging. In this study, we present FIESTA (FIber gEneration and bundle Segmentation in Tractography using Autoencoders), a reliable and robust, fully automated, and easily semi-automatically calibrated pipeline based on deep autoencoders that can dissect and fully populate WM bundles. Our framework allows the transition from one anatomical bundle definition to another with marginal calibrating time. This pipeline is built upon FINTA, CINTA, and GESTA methods that demonstrated how autoencoders can be used successfully for streamline filtering, bundling, and streamline generation in tractography. Our proposed method improves bundling coverage by recovering hard-to-track bundles with generative sampling through the latent space seeding of the subject bundle and the atlas bundle. A latent space of streamlines is learned using autoencoder-based modeling combined with contrastive learning. Using an atlas of bundles in standard space (MNI), our proposed method segments new tractograms using the autoencoder latent distance between each tractogram streamline and its closest neighbor bundle in the atlas of bundles. Intra-subject bundle reliability is improved by recovering hard-to-track streamlines, using the autoencoder to generate new streamlines that increase each bundle's spatial coverage while remaining anatomically meaningful. Results show that our method is more reliable than state-of-the-art automated virtual dissection methods such as RecoBundles, RecoBundlesX, TractSeg, White Matter Analysis and XTRACT. Overall, these results show that our framework improves the practicality and usability of current state-of-the-art bundling framework


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