Clinical Integration of QSM into Neurosurgical Practice

Clinical Integration of Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping Magnetic Resonance Imaging into Neurosurgical Practice

S. Kathleen Bandt, Ludovic de Rochefort, Weiwei Chen, Alexey V. Dimov, Pascal Spincemaille, Brian H. Kopell, Ajay Gupta, Yi Wang

World Neurosurgery, Volume 122, February 2019, Pages e10-e19

To introduce quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), a novel magnetic resonance imaging sequence, to the field of neurosurgery.
QSM is introduced both in its historical context and by providing a brief overview of the physics behind the technique tailored to a neurosurgical audience. Its application to clinical neurosurgery is then highlighted using case examples.
QSM offers a quantitative assessment of susceptibility (previously considered as an artifact) via a single, straightforward gradient echo acquisition. QSM differs from standard susceptibility weighted imaging in its ability to both quantify and precisely localize susceptibility effects. Clinical applications of QSM are wide reaching and include precise localization of the deep nuclei for deep brain stimulation electrode placement, differentiation between blood products and calcification within brain lesions, and enhanced sensitivity of cerebral micrometastasis identification.
We present this diverse range of QSM’s clinical applications to neurosurgical care via case examples. QSM can be obtained in all patients able to undergo magnetic resonance imaging and is easily integratable into busy neuroradiology programs because of its short acquisition time and straightforward, automated offline postprocessing workflow. Clinical integration of QSM may help clinicians better identify and characterize neurosurgical lesions, thereby improving patient care.