Ning Ning1, Lei Zhang1, 2, Yumiao Zhang1, Zhuanqin Ren2, Ed.X Wu3, Jian Yang1
1Department of radiology, the first affiliated hospital of medical college, Xian Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; 2Department of magnetic resonance imaging, Baoji central hospital, Baoji, Shaanxi, China; 3Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
This study aims to evaluate the R2* and susceptibility phase values of deep gray nuclei in infants for study of early brain development by using susceptibility weighted imaging. 56 infants with postmenstrual age (PMA) range of 37-91 weeks were examined by using an ESWAN (enhanced T2* weighted angiography) sequence. R2* and phase values were obtained for caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, thalamus, red nucleus and substantia nigra. R2* values showed a significant and positive correlation with PMA, as well as the reference iron concentrations calculated using an empirical equation that was derived in an earlier postmortem study. No significant linear correlation was observed between phase value, PMA and iron concentrations in each gray matter structure. Therefore, R2* presents a more sensitive parameter than phase value for in vivo estimation of brain iron deposition in infants.