Ex-vivo quantitative susceptibility mapping of human brain hemispheres

PLoS One. 2017 Dec 20;12(12):e0188395. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188395. eCollection 2017.

Abstract

Ex-vivo brain quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) allows investigation of brain characteristics at essentially the same point in time as histopathologic examination, and therefore has the potential to become an important tool for determining the role of QSM as a diagnostic and monitoring tool of age-related neuropathologies. In order to be able to translate the ex-vivo QSM findings to in-vivo, it is crucial to understand the effects of death and chemical fixation on brain magnetic susceptibility measurements collected ex-vivo. Thus, the objective of this work was twofold: a) to assess the behavior of magnetic susceptibility in both gray and white matter of human brain hemispheres as a function of time postmortem, and b) to establish the relationship between in-vivo and ex-vivo gray matter susceptibility measurements on the same hemispheres. Five brain hemispheres from community-dwelling older adults were imaged ex-vivo with QSM on a weekly basis for six weeks postmortem, and the longitudinal behavior of ex-vivo magnetic susceptibility in both gray and white matter was assessed. The relationship between in-vivo and ex-vivo gray matter susceptibility measurements was investigated using QSM data from eleven older adults imaged both antemortem and postmortem. No systematic change in ex-vivo magnetic susceptibility of gray or white matter was observed over time postmortem. Additionally, it was demonstrated that, gray matter magnetic susceptibility measured ex-vivo may be well modeled as a linear function of susceptibility measured in-vivo. In conclusion, magnetic susceptibility in gray and white matter measured ex-vivo with QSM does not systematically change in the first six weeks after death. This information is important for future cross-sectional ex-vivo QSM studies of hemispheres imaged at different postmortem intervals. Furthermore, the linear relationship between in-vivo and ex-vivo gray matter magnetic susceptibility suggests that ex-vivo QSM captures information linked to antemortem gray matter magnetic susceptibility, which is important for translation of ex-vivo QSM findings to in-vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging