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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 698908, 12 pages
Research Article

CUDA-Accelerated Geodesic Ray-Tracing for Fiber Tracking

1Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhove, The Netherlands
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Received 28 February 2011; Revised 17 June 2011; Accepted 24 June 2011

Academic Editor: Khaled Z. Abd-Elmoniem

Copyright © 2011 Evert van Aart et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) allows to noninvasively measure the diffusion of water in fibrous tissue. By reconstructing the fibers from DTI data using a fiber-tracking algorithm, we can deduce the structure of the tissue. In this paper, we outline an approach to accelerating such a fiber-tracking algorithm using a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This algorithm, which is based on the calculation of geodesics, has shown promising results for both synthetic and real data, but is limited in its applicability by its high computational requirements. We present a solution which uses the parallelism offered by modern GPUs, in combination with the CUDA platform by NVIDIA, to significantly reduce the execution time of the fiber-tracking algorithm. Compared to a multithreaded CPU implementation of the same algorithm, our GPU mapping achieves a speedup factor of up to 40 times.