Intracranial calcification on gradient-echo phase image: depiction of diamagnetic susceptibility

Radiology. 1996 Jan;198(1):171-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.198.1.8539373.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging