Separation of Fiber Tracts within the Human Cingulum Bundle using Single-Shot STEAM DTI

Alexander Karaus*, Sabine Hofer, Jens Frahm
Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, 37070 Göttingen, Germany

© 2009 Karaus et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH, 37070 Göttingen, Germany; Tel: +49-551-201-1726; Fax: +49-551-201-1307; Email:


The cingulum bundle is a complex white matter fiber tract of the human brain that comprises long association fibers, commissural fibers, and various U-fibers. It is located above the corpus callosum and interconnects limbic structures. A decline of the cingulum fiber integrity has been observed in patients with mental disorders such as schizophrenia. In this work a separation of the bi-hemispheric lateral longitudinal striae and selected U-fibers was achieved by fiber tractography of the cingulum bundle based on diffusion tensor imaging at 1.8 mm isotropic spatial resolution. Anatomic accuracy without susceptibility-induced distortions was ensured by diffusion-weighted single-shot STEAM MRI with 24 gradient directions and b values of 0 and 1000 s mm-2. Extending earlier versions, the STEAM sequence combined variable flip angles, centrically reordered phase encoding, partial Fourier encoding, and parallel imaging.

Keywords: Human brain, lateral longitudinal stria, U-fibers, diffusion tensor imaging, fiber tractography.