Measuring iron in the brain using quantitative susceptibility mapping and X-ray fluorescence imaging Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Measuring iron content in the brain has important implications for a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), derived from magnetic resonance images, has been used to measure total iron content in vivo and in post mortem brain. In this paper, we show how magnetic susceptibility from QSM correlates with total iron content measured by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging and by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The relationship between susceptibility and ferritin iron was estimated at 1.10±0.08 ppb susceptibility per μg iron/g wet tissue, similar to that of iron in fixed (frozen/thawed) cadaveric brain and previously published data from unfixed brains. We conclude that magnetic susceptibility can provide a direct and reliable quantitative measurement of iron content and that it can be used clinically at least in regions with high iron content.


  • Zheng, Weili
  • Nichol, Helen
  • Liu, Saifeng
  • Cheng, Yu-Chung N
  • Haacke, Mark

publication date

  • September 2013