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BACKGROUND: The iron concentration increases during normal brain development and is identified as a risk factor for many neurodegenerative diseases, it is vital to monitor iron content in the brain non-invasively. PURPOSE: This study aimed to quantify in vivo brain iron concentration with a 3D rosette-based ultra-short echo time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence. METHODS: A cylindrical phantom containing nine vials of different iron concentrations (iron (II) chloride) from 0.5 millimoles to 50 millimoles and six healthy subjects were scanned using 3D high-resolution (0.94 ×0.94 ×0.94 mm3) rosette UTE sequence at an echo time (TE) of 20 μs. RESULTS: Iron-related hyperintense signals (i.e., positive contrast) were detected based on the phantom scan, and were used to establish an association between iron concentration and signal intensity. The signal intensities from in vivo scans were then converted to iron concentrations based on the association. The deep brain structures, such as the substantia nigra, putamen, and globus pallidus, were highlighted after the conversion, which indicated potential iron accumulations. CONCLUSION: This study suggested that T1-weighted signal intensity could be used for brain iron mapping.

Original publication




Journal article


J Trace Elem Med Biol

Publication Date





Brain iron quantification, High resolution, Rosette trajectory, Ultra-short echo time