Automated voxel-wise brain DTI analysis of fitness and aging

Zhexing Liu, Mahshid Farzinfar, Laurence M. Katz, Hongtu Zhu, Casey B. Goodlett, Guido Gerig, Martin Styner, Bonita L. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) has become a widely used MR modality to investigate white matter integrity in the brain. This paper presents the application of an automated method for voxel-wise group comparisons of DTI images in a study of fitness and aging. The automated processing method consists of 3 steps: 1) preprocessing including image format converting, image quality control, eddy-current and motion artifact correction, skull stripping and tensor image estimation, 2) study-specific unbiased DTI atlas computation via diffeomorphic fluid-based and demons deformable registration and 3) voxel-wise statistical analysis via heterogeneous linear regression and a wild bootstrap technique for correcting for multiple comparisons. Our results show that this fully automated method is suitable for voxel-wise group DTI analysis. Furthermore, in older adults, the results suggest a strong link between reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values, fitness and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalOpen Medical Imaging Journal
StatePublished - 2012


  • Aging and aerobic fitness
  • DTI atlas
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Nonlinear warping
  • Voxel-wise analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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