Purpose: To differentiate calcification from hemorrhage on the basis of susceptibility at magnetic resonance imaging.
Materials and methods: Gradient-recalled echo (GRE) phase imaging was performed at 1.5 T in 101 calcified areas (15 in the basal ganglia, 86 out of the basal ganglia) and 39 uncalcified locations (13 choroid plexus and pineal glands, 26 old hemorrhages). Experiments with a small lead particle and a numerical simulation were also performed.
Results: The majority of calcifications outside the basal ganglia (n = 63) revealed a phase shift that represents diamagnetic susceptibility and was similar to the phase shift in the lead particle and to the calculated phase shift for a diamagnetic sphere. All hemorrhages and almost all calcified basal ganglia revealed a phase shift that represents paramagnetic susceptibility. All uncalcified choroid plexus and pineal glands revealed no obvious phase shift. Any location without calcification did not reveal the diamagnetic phase shift.
Conclusion: GRE phase imaging differentiated paramagnetic from diamagnetic susceptibility, which was specific for calcification.