Measurement tensors in diffusion MRI: generalizing the concept of diffusion encoding

Carl-Fredrik Westin, Filip Szczepankiewicz, Ofer Pasternak, Evren Ozarslan, Daniel Topgaard, Hans Knutsson, Markus Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (SciVal)


In traditional diffusion MRI, short pulsed field gradients (PFG) are used for the diffusion encoding. The standard Stejskal-Tanner sequence uses one single pair of such gradients, known as single-PFG (sPFG). In this work we describe how trajectories in q-space can be used for diffusion encoding. We discuss how such encoding enables the extension of the well-known scalar b-value to a tensor-valued entity we call the diffusion measurement tensor. The new measurements contain information about higher order diffusion propagator covariances not present in sPFG. As an example analysis, we use this new information to estimate a Gaussian distribution over diffusion tensors in each voxel, described by its mean (a diffusion tensor) and its covariance (a 4th order tensor).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-16
Number of pages8
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science
Issue numberPt 3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Algorithms
  • Brain
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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