Quantitative susceptibility mapping: current status and future directions

Magn Reson Imaging. 2015 Jan;33(1):1-25. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2014.09.004. Epub 2014 Oct 25.


Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is a new technique for quantifying magnetic susceptibility. It has already found various applications in quantifying in vivo iron content, calcifications and changes in venous oxygen saturation. The accuracy of susceptibility mapping is dependent on several factors. In this review, we evaluate the entire process of QSM from data acquisition to individual data processing steps. We also show preliminary results of several new concepts introduced in this review in an attempt to improve the quality and accuracy for certain steps. The uncertainties in estimating susceptibility differences using susceptibility maps, phase images, and T2* maps are analyzed and compared. Finally, example clinical applications are presented. We conclude that QSM holds great promise in quantifying iron and becoming a standard clinical tool.

Keywords: Iron quantification; Magnetic susceptibility; Phase imaging; Quantitative susceptibility mapping; Susceptibility weighted imaging; Venous oxygen saturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisotropy
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Diagnostic Imaging / standards
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mice
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio


  • Oxygen