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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Infectious Diseases - Radiology and Medical Imaging

An In Vitro and In Vivo Analysis of the Correlation between Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging Phase Values and R2* in Cirrhotic Livers
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Author: Ran Tao et al.

by Ran Tao, Jiuquan Zhang, Yongming Dai, Zhonglan You, Yi Fan, Jinguo Cui, Jian Wang


To establish a baseline of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) phase value as a means of detecting iron abnormalities in cirrhotic liver and to analyze its relationship with R2*.

Materials and Methods

Sixteen MnCl2 phantoms, thirty-seven healthy individuals and 87 cirrhotic patients were performed SWI and multi-echo T2*-weighted imaging, and the signal processing in NMR (SPIN) software was used to measure the radian on SWI phase images and the R2* on T2* maps. The mean minus two times standard deviation (SD) of Siemens Phase Unit (SPU) in healthy individuals was designated as a threshold to separate the regions of interest (ROIs) into high- and low-iron areas in healthy participants and cirrhotic patients. The SWI phase values of high-iron areas were calculated. The R2* values was measured in the same ROI in both healthy participants and patients.


SWI phase values correlated linearly with R2* values in cases of MnCl2 concentrations lower than 2.3 mM in vitro (r?=?-0.996, P<0.001). The mean value and SD of 37 healthy participants were 2003 and 15 (SPU), respectively. A threshold of 1973 SPU (-0.115 radians) was determined. The SWI phase value and R2* values had a negative correlation in the cirrhotic patients (r?=?-0.742, P<0.001). However, no similar relationship was found in the healthy individuals (r?=?0.096, P?=?0.576). Both SWI phase values and R2* values were found to have significant correlations with serum ferritin concentrations in 42 patients with blood samples (r?=?-0.512, P?=?0.001 and r?=?0.641, P<0.001, respectively).


SWI phase values had significant correlations with R2* after the establishment of a baseline on the phase image. SWI phase images may be used for non-invasive quantitative measurement of mild and moderate iron deposition in hepatic cirrhosis in vivo.