Quantifying iron content in magnetic resonance imaging

Neuroimage. 2019 Feb 15:187:77-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.04.047. Epub 2018 Apr 25.


Measuring iron content has practical clinical indications in the study of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, ferritinopathies and multiple sclerosis as well as in the quantification of iron content in microbleeds and oxygen saturation in veins. In this work, we review the basic concepts behind imaging iron using T2, T2*, T2', phase and quantitative susceptibility mapping in the human brain, liver and heart, followed by the applications of in vivo iron quantification in neurodegenerative diseases, iron tagged cells and ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) nanoparticles.

Keywords: Iron quantification; Iron tagged cells; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson's disease; USPIO contrast agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Iron / analysis*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Myocardium / chemistry
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • ferric oxide
  • Iron