Reproducibility of quantitative susceptibility mapping in the brain at two field strengths from two vendors

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To assess the reproducibility of brain quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) in healthy subjects and in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) on 1.5 and 3T scanners from two vendors.

Materials and Methods:

Ten healthy volunteers and 10 patients were scanned twice on a 3T scanner from one vendor. The healthy volunteers were also scanned on a 1.5T scanner from the same vendor and on a 3T scanner from a second vendor. Similar imaging parameters were used for all scans. QSM images were reconstructed using a recently developed nonlinear morphology-enabled dipole inversion (MEDI) algorithm with L1 regularization. Region-of-interest (ROI) measurements were obtained for 20 major brain structures. Reproducibility was evaluated with voxel-wise and ROI-based Bland–Altman plots and linear correlation analysis.


ROI-based QSM measurements showed excellent correlation between all repeated scans (correlation coefficient R ≥ 0.97), with a mean difference of less than 1.24 ppb (healthy subjects) and 4.15 ppb (patients), and 95% limits of agreements of within −25.5 to 25.0 ppb (healthy subjects) and −35.8 to 27.6 ppb (patients). Voxel-based QSM measurements had a good correlation (0.64 ≤ R ≤ 0.88) and limits of agreements of −60 to 60 ppb or less.


Brain QSM measurements have good interscanner and same-scanner reproducibility for healthy and MS subjects, respectively, on the systems evaluated in this study. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2015;42:1592–1600.

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