Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping: Basic Methods and Clinical Applications

Radiographics. 2022 Jul-Aug;42(4):1161-1176. doi: 10.1148/rg.210054. Epub 2022 May 6.


Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), one of the advanced MRI techniques for evaluating magnetic susceptibility, offers precise quantitative measurements of spatial distributions of magnetic susceptibility. Magnetic susceptibility describes the magnetizability of a material to an applied magnetic field and is a substance-specific value. Recently, QSM has been widely used to estimate various levels of substances in the brain, including iron, hemosiderin, and deoxyhemoglobin (paramagnetism), as well as calcification (diamagnetism). By visualizing iron distribution in the brain, it is possible to identify anatomic structures that are not evident on conventional images and to evaluate various neurodegenerative diseases. It has been challenging to apply QSM in areas outside the brain because of motion artifacts from respiration and heartbeats, as well as the presence of fat, which has a different frequency to the proton. In this review, the authors provide a brief overview of the theoretical background and analyze methods of converting MRI phase images to QSM. Moreover, we provide an overview of the current clinical applications of QSM. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2022.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Brain*
  • Humans
  • Iron
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods


  • Iron