Quantification of Iron Deposition

Example results at 1.5T and 3T: Proton Density Fat-Fraction (PDFF), B0 field maps, and R2* maps from subjects with no iron overload, moderate iron overload and high iron overload. Note the increase in ΔB0 (as well as R2*) with increasing liver iron (Ferriscan-LIC). Hernando D, et al.. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2013;70(3):648-656.

Excessive accumulation of iron occurs in patients with genetic hemochromatosis and in patients with transfusion dependent anemias such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. The body has very limited capabilities to remove iron. If left untreated, excess iron can result in complications such as liver and heart damage, growth failure, and premature death. Oral chelation agents are commonly used for treatment of iron overload. Chelators bind to excess iron and promote its excretion from the body. However, chelation therapy is extremely expensive and has side effects. The ability to accurately and longitudinally assess body iron content is critical for treatment monitoring, to avoid over/under-treatment to ensure that safe iron levels are maintained. We focus on the development and validation of novel techniques for quantification of iron deposition in tissue, particularly using emerging MRI techniques such as Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM). We also study the connection between microscopic iron deposition and macroscopic MRI signal behavior.


Selected Publications

  • Hernando D, Cook RJ, Qazi N, Longhurst CA, Diamond CA, Reeder SB. Complex Confounder-Corrected R2* Mapping for Liver Iron Quantification with MRI. European Radiology, 2020 (In Press).
  • Colgan TJ, Knobloch G, Reeder SB and Hernando D. Sensitivity of Relaxometry and Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping to Microscopic Iron Distribution. Magn Reson Med, 2020; 83(2):673-680. DOI PMID
  • Sharma SD, Hernando D, Horng DE and Reeder SB. Quantitative susceptibility mapping in the abdomen as an imaging biomarker of hepatic iron overload. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2015;74(3):673-683. DOI PMID
  • Hernando D, Levin YS, Sirlin CB and Reeder SB. Quantification of liver iron with MRI: State of the art and remaining challenges. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2014;40(5):1003-1021. DOI PMID
  • Hernando D, Cook RJ, Diamond C and Reeder SB. Magnetic susceptibility as a B0 field strength independent MRI biomarker of liver iron overload. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2013;70(3):648-656. DOI PMID