Functional MRI with DTI Fiber Tracking

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center offers diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking and functional (fMRI) motor mapping using magnetic resonance imaging fused with 3D anatomical image of a brain to aid in surgical planning.



In doing functional imaging, radiology technicians ask the patient to do a task, such as moving their hands or fingers, and perform a magnetic resonance (MRI) scan while the patient is doing the task. By monitoring blood flow, we can map which parts of the brain are activated and identify the part of the brain that controls the given task.

In this case, a patient with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is being prepared for surgery. The surgeon wants to know how close the AVM (dark blue) is to the vital part of the brain that controls the patient’s ability to move. A combined DTI and fMRI were performed to map the parts of the brain that control movement.

The red overlay shows the bilateral finger motions, and yellow shows the motion of the right hand.  The color traces shows the white matter fibers as they go up from the spine to the brain's cortex. The dark blue is the blood veins that have been tangled and need to be operated upon.

These advanced scans done at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center help surgeons better plan their surgery, thereby helping to reduce complications.

For more information about functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging, please call (310) 423-8000.