BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Quantitative susceptibility mapping of the human brain has demonstrated strong potential in examining iron deposition, which may help in investigating possible brain pathology. This study assesses the reproducibility of quantitative susceptibility mapping across different imaging sites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, the susceptibility values of 5 regions of interest in the human brain were measured on 9 healthy subjects following calibration by using phantom experiments. Each of the subjects was imaged 5 times on 1 scanner with the same procedure repeated on 3 different 3T systems so that both within-site and cross-site quantitative susceptibility mapping precision levels could be assessed. Two quantitative susceptibility mapping algorithms, similar in principle, one by using iterative regularization (iterative quantitative susceptibility mapping) and the other with analytic optimal solutions (deterministic quantitative susceptibility mapping), were implemented, and their performances were compared. RESULTS: Results show that while deterministic quantitative susceptibility mapping had nearly 700 times faster computation speed, residual streaking artifacts seem to be more prominent compared with iterative quantitative susceptibility mapping. With quantitative susceptibility mapping, the putamen, globus pallidus, and caudate nucleus showed smaller imprecision on the order of 0.005 ppm, whereas the red nucleus and substantia nigra, closer to the skull base, had a somewhat larger imprecision of approximately 0.01 ppm. Cross-site errors were not significantly larger than within-site errors. Possible sources of estimation errors are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The reproducibility of quantitative susceptibility mapping in the human brain in vivo is regionally dependent, and the precision levels achieved with quantitative susceptibility mapping should allow longitudinal and multisite studies such as aging-related changes in brain tissue magnetic susceptibility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology