Hematocrit measurement with R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping in postmortem brain

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Noninvasive venous oxygenation quantification with MR imaging will improve the neurophysiologic investigation and the understanding of the pathophysiology in neurologic diseases. Available MR imaging methods are limited by sensitivity to flow and often require assumptions of the hematocrit level. In situ postmortem imaging enables evaluation of methods in a fully deoxygenated environment without flow artifacts, allowing direct calculation of hematocrit. This study compares 2 venous oxygenation quantification methods in in situ postmortem subjects. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Transverse relaxation (R2*) mapping and quantitative susceptibility mapping were performed on a whole-body 4.7T MR imaging system. Intravenous measurements in major draining intracranial veins were compared between the 2 methods in 3 postmortem subjects. The quantitative susceptibility mapping technique was also applied in 10 healthy control subjects and compared with reference venous oxygenation values. RESULTS: In 2 early postmortem subjects, R2* mapping and quantitative susceptibility mapping measurements within intracranial veins had a significant and strong correlation (R2 0.805, P .004 and R2 0.836, P .02). Higher R2* and susceptibility values were consistently demonstrated within gravitationally dependent venous segments during the early postmortem period. Hematocrit ranged from 0.102 to 0.580 in postmortem subjects, with R2* and susceptibility as large as 291 seconds1 and 1.75 ppm, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Measurements of R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping within large intracranial draining veins have a high correlation in early postmortem subjects. This study supports the use of quantitative susceptibility mapping for evaluation of in vivo venous oxygenation and postmortem hematocrit concentrations.




Walsh, A. J., Sun, H., Emery, D. J., & Wilman, A. H. (2018). Hematocrit measurement with R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping in postmortem brain. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 39(7), 1260–1266. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A5677

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