Susceptibility gradient mapping (SGM): A new postprocessing method for positive contrast generation applied to superparamagnetic iron oxide particle (SPIO)-labeled cells

Hannes Dahnke, Wei Liu, Daniel Herzka, Joseph A. Frank, Tobias Schaeffter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Local susceptibility gradients result in a dephasing of the processing magnetic moments and thus in a fast decay of the NMR signals. In particular, cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIOs) induce hypointensities, making the in vivo detection of labeled cells from such a negative image contrast difficult. In this work, a new method is proposed to selectively turn this negative contrast into a positive contrast. The proposed method calculates the susceptibility gradient and visualizes it in a parametric map directly from a regular gradient-echo image dataset. The susceptibility gradient map is determined in a postprocessing step, requiring no dedicated pulse sequences or adaptation of the sequence before and during image acquisition. Phantom experiments demonstrated that local susceptibility differences can be quantified. In vivo experiments showed the feasibility of the method for tracking of SPIO-labeled cells. The method bears the potential also for usage in other applications, including the detection of contrast agents and interventional devices as well as metal implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-603
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Labeled cells
  • Positive contrast
  • SPIO
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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