A probabilistic atlas of the cerebellar white matter.
van Baarsen KM., Kleinnijenhuis M., Jbabdi S., Sotiropoulos SN., Grotenhuis JA., van Cappellen van Walsum AM.
Imaging of the cerebellar cortex, deep cerebellar nuclei and their connectivity are gaining attraction, due to the important role the cerebellum plays in cognition and motor control. Atlases of the cerebellar cortex and nuclei are used to locate regions of interest in clinical and neuroscience studies. However, the white matter that connects these relay stations is of at least similar functional importance. Damage to these cerebellar white matter tracts may lead to serious language, cognitive and emotional disturbances, although the pathophysiological mechanism behind it is still debated. Differences in white matter integrity between patients and controls might shed light on structure-function correlations. A probabilistic parcellation atlas of the cerebellar white matter would help these studies by facilitating automatic segmentation of the cerebellar peduncles, the localization of lesions and the comparison of white matter integrity between patients and controls. In this work a digital three-dimensional probabilistic atlas of the cerebellar white matter is presented, based on high quality 3T, 1.25mm resolution diffusion MRI data from 90 subjects participating in the Human Connectome Project. The white matter tracts were estimated using probabilistic tractography. Results over 90 subjects were symmetrical and trajectories of superior, middle and inferior cerebellar peduncles resembled the anatomy as known from anatomical studies. This atlas will contribute to a better understanding of cerebellar white matter architecture. It may eventually aid in defining structure-function correlations in patients with cerebellar disorders.