Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) consists of using both magnitude and phase images from a high-resolution, three-dimensional, fully velocity compensated gradient-echo sequence. Postprocessing is applied to the magnitude image by means of a phase mask to increase the conspicuity of the veins and other sources of susceptibility effects. This article gives a background of the SWI technique and describes its role in clinical neuroimaging. SWI is currently being tested in a number of centers worldwide as an emerging technique to improve the diagnosis of neurological trauma, brain neoplasms, and neurovascular diseases because of its ability to reveal vascular abnormalities and microbleeds.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.