European Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1751–1759 | Cite as

Topographic organization of motor fibre tracts in the human brain: findings in multiple locations using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor tractography

  • Dong-Hoon Lee
  • Do-Wan Lee
  • Bong-Soo HanEmail author



To identify the hand and foot fibre tracts of the corticospinal tract (CST), and to evaluate the relative locations, angles, and distances of two fibre tracts using diffusion tensor tractography (DTT).


Twelve healthy subjects were enrolled. The regions of interests (ROIs) were drawn in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation areas and pons in each subject for fibre tracking. We evaluated fibre tract distributions using distances and angles between two fibre tracts starting from the location of a hand fibre tract in multiple brain regions.


The measured angles and distances were 96.43–150°/2.69–9.93 mm (upper CR), 91.86–180°/1.63–7.42 mm (lower CR), 54.47–75°/0.75-4.45 mm (PLIC), and 3.65–90°/0.11–2.36 mm (pons), respectively. The distributions between CR and other sections, such as PLIC and pons, were statistically significant (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the upper and lower CR\ or between the PLIC and pons.


This study showed that the somatotopic arrangement of the hand fibre tract was located at the anterolateral portion in CR and at the anteromedial portion in PLIC and pons, based on the foot fibre. Our methods and results seem to be helpful in motor control neurological research.

Key points

We evaluated somatotopic arrangement of CST at multiple anatomical locations.

Somatotopic arrangements and fibre tract distributions were evaluated based on hand fibre location.

Relative angles, locations, and distances between two fibres vary according to their anatomical locations.


Somatotopic arrangement Diffusion tensor tractography Corona radiata Internal capsule Pons 



Corticospinal tract


Diffusion tensor imaging


Diffusion tensor tractography


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


Corona radiata


Posterior limb of internal capsule




Transcranial magnetic stimulation


Region of interest


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dr. Bong-Soo Han. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional review board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study. Methodology: retrospective, diagnostic or prognostic study, performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of MR Research, Department of RadiologyJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiological Science, College of Health ScienceYonsei UniversityWonjuRep. of Korea

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