Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is an established medical technique used for describing water diffusion in an organic tissue. Typically, rank-2 or 2nd-order tensors quantify this diffusion. From this quantification, it is possible to calculate relevant scalar measures (i.e. fractional anisotropy) employed in the clinical diagnosis of neurological diseases. Nonetheless, 2nd-order tensors fail to represent complex tissue structures like crossing fibers. To overcome this limitation, several researchers proposed a diffusion representation with higher order tensors (HOT), specifically 4th and 6th orders. However, the current acquisition protocols of dMRI data allow images with a spatial resolution between 1 mm3 and 2 mm3, and this voxel size is much bigger than tissue structures. Therefore, several clinical procedures derived from dMRI may be inaccurate. Concerning this, interpolation has been used to enhance the resolution of dMRI in a tensorial space. Most interpolation methods are valid only for rank-2 tensors and a generalization for HOT data is missing. In this work, we propose a probabilistic framework for performing HOT data interpolation. In particular, we introduce two novel probabilistic models based on the Tucker and the canonical decompositions. We call our approaches: Tucker decomposition process (TDP) and canonical decomposition process (CDP). We test the TDP and CDP in rank-2, 4 and 6 HOT fields. For rank-2 tensors, we compare against direct interpolation, log-Euclidean approach, and Generalized Wishart processes. For rank-4 and 6 tensors, we compare against direct interpolation and raw dMRI interpolation. Results obtained show that TDP and CDP interpolate accurately the HOT fields in terms of Frobenius distance, anisotropy measurements, and fiber tracts. Besides, CDP and TDP can be generalized to any rank. Also, the proposed framework keeps the mandatory constraint of positive definite tensors, and preserves morphological properties such as fractional anisotropy (FA), generalized anisotropy (GA) and tractography.
- Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
- Higher order tensors
- Probabilistic models
- Tensor decomposition