MR susceptibility imaging.
This work reviews recent developments in the use of magnetic susceptibility contrast for human MRI, with a focus on the study of brain anatomy. The increase in susceptibility contrast with modern high field scanners has led to novel applications and insights into the sources and mechanism contributing to this contrast in brain tissues. Dedicated experiments have demonstrated that in most of healthy brain, iron and myelin dominate tissue susceptibility variations, although their relative contribution varies substantially. Local variations in these compounds can affect both amplitude and frequency of the MRI signal. In white matter, the myelin sheath introduces an anisotropic susceptibility that has distinct effects on the water compartments inside the axons, between the myelin sheath, and the axonal space, and renders their signals dependent on the angle between the axon and the magnetic field. This offers opportunities to derive tissue properties specific to these cellular compartments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.