Overview of quantitative susceptibility mapping

NMR Biomed. 2017 Apr;30(4). doi: 10.1002/nbm.3569. Epub 2016 Jul 19.


Magnetic susceptibility describes the magnetizability of a material to an applied magnetic field and represents an important parameter in the field of MRI. With the recently introduced method of quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) and its conceptual extension to susceptibility tensor imaging (STI), the non-invasive assessment of this important physical quantity has become possible with MRI. Both methods solve the ill-posed inverse problem to determine the magnetic susceptibility from local magnetic fields. Whilst QSM allows the extraction of the spatial distribution of the bulk magnetic susceptibility from a single measurement, STI enables the quantification of magnetic susceptibility anisotropy, but requires multiple measurements with different orientations of the object relative to the main static magnetic field. In this review, we briefly recapitulate the fundamental theoretical foundation of QSM and STI, as well as computational strategies for the characterization of magnetic susceptibility with MRI phase data. In the second part, we provide an overview of current methodological and clinical applications of QSM with a focus on brain imaging. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: functional MRI; magnetic susceptibility; multiple sclerosis; quantitative susceptibility mapping; susceptibility tensor imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity