Magnetic resonance imaging tractography permits in vivo visualization of white matter structures. Aside from its academic value, tractography has been proven particularly useful to neurosurgeons for preoperative planning. Preoperative tractography permits both qualitative and quantitative analyses of tumor effects upon surrounding white matter, allowing the surgeon to specifically tailor their operative approach. Despite its benefits, there is controversy pertaining to methodology, implementation, and interpretation of results in this context. High-definition fiber tractography (HDFT) is one of several non-tensor tractography approaches permitting visualization of crossing white matter trajectories at high resolutions, dispensing with the well-known shortcomings of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography. In this article, we provide an overview of the advantages of HDFT in a neurosurgical context, derived from our considerable experience implementing the technique for academic and clinical purposes. We highlight nuances of qualitative and quantitative approaches to using HDFT for brain tumor surgery planning, and integration of tractography with complementary operative adjuncts, and consider areas requiring further research.
View details for PubMedID 30542904