Using susceptibility-weighted images to quantify iron deposition differences in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Neurol India. Jan-Feb 2013;61(1):26-34. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.107924.


Aim: To quantify iron deposition in Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and control individuals using susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI).

Materials and methods: Sixty participants (22 aMCI, 20 AD, 18 normal controls) underwent conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and SWI using axial/oblique coronal sequences. Phase images were used to calculate bilateral iron deposition in 18 regions of interest (ROI). The radian angle value was calculated and compared between the three participant groups.

Results: The difference in radian angle value was significant between the aMCI and control groups in the left (L)-hippocampus, L-head of the caudate nucleus, R-lenticular nucleus, L-lenticular nucleus (P =0.02239, <0. 001, 0.03571, 0.00943, respectively). The difference in radian angle value was significant between the AD and aMCI groups in the R-cerebellar hemisphere, L-cerebellar hemisphere, R-hippocampus, L-hippocampus, R-red nucleus, R-thalamus, L-thalamus, and splenium of corpus callosum (P =0.02754, 0.01839, 0.00934, 0.04316, 0.02472, 0.00152, <0.001, 0.01448, respectively). Pearson correlation coefficients of the Mini-Mental State Examination score were all significant for the bilateral cerebellar hemisphere, hippocampus, red nucleus, lenticular nucleus, thalamus, R-head of the caudate nucleus, and splenium of corpus callosum.

Conclusion: Iron deposition in the hippocampus, head of the caudate nucleuslenticular nucleus, and thalamus are significantly different between individuals with aMCI, AD, and controls. The thalamus is a particularly sensitive area. Using SWI to quantify the iron deposition is a useful tool in detecting aMCI and AD.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction*
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Iron
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Iron