Background: Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is emerging as a technique that quantifies the paramagnetic nonheme iron in brain tissue. Brain iron quantification during early development provides insights into the underlying mechanism of brain maturation. Purpose: To quantify the spatiotemporal variations of brain iron-related magnetic susceptibility in deep gray matter nuclei during early development by using QSM. Study Type: Retrospective. Subjects: Eighty-seven infants and children aged 1 month to 6 years. Field Strength/Sequence: Enhanced T2*-weighted angiography using a 3D gradient-echo sequence at 3.0T. Assessment: QSM was calculated by modified sophisticated harmonic artifact reduction for phase data and sparse linear equations and sparse least squares-based algorithm. Means of susceptibility in deep gray matter nuclei (caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, thalamus) relative to that in splenium of corpus callosum were measured. Statistical Tests: Relationships of mean susceptibility with age and referenced iron concentration were tested by Pearson correlation. Differences of mean susceptibility between the selected nuclei in each age group were compared by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Fisher's Linear Significant Difference (LSD) test. Results: Positive correlations of susceptibility with both referenced iron concentration and age were found (P < 0.0001); particularly, globus pallidus showed the highest correlation with age (correlation coefficient, 0.882; slope, 1.203; P < 0.001) and greatest susceptibility (P < 0.05) among the selected nuclei. Data Conclusion: QSM allows the feasible quantification of iron deposition in deep gray matter nuclei in infants and young children, which exhibited gradual accumulation at different speeds. The fastest and highest iron accumulation was observed in the globus pallidus with increasing age during early development. Level of Evidence: 4. Technical Efficacy:Stage 2. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging