Objective: The Vestibulocerebellar Tract (VCT) connects the vestibular nuclear complex mainly with the uvula-nodulus of the cerebellum. Many animal studies have revealed the anatomy of the VCT, but very little is known about the VCT in the human brain. In this study, we attempted to identify the VCT in the normal human brain using diffusion tensor tractography.
Methods: Twenty healthy volunteers were recruited for this study. Diffusion tensor imaging data was acquired using 1.5-T, and the VCT was obtained using FMRIB software. The VCT was determined by selection of fibers passing through two Regions of Interest (ROIs): seed ROI - vestibular nuclei areas, target ROI - the uvula of the cerebellum.
Results: VCTs that originated from the vestibular nuclei passed posteriorly via the inferior cerebellar peduncle, then terminated at the uvula of cerebellum. No significant differences were observed in terms of fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, and tract volume of the VCT according to the side of the hemisphere (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: We identified the VCT in the human brain using diffusion tensor tractography and believe that the methodology and results reported here will be helpful to researchers and clinicians in this field.