Lectures on MR > Courses 2017 > Susceptibility weighted imaging and quantitative susceptibility mapping
Susceptibility weighted imaging and quantitative susceptibility mapping

November 6-8, 2017

Course venue:

Department of Neurology
Medical University of Graz

Course organisers:
Jürgen R. Reichenbach
Jena University Hospital – Friedrich-Schiller-University

Stefan Ropele
Medical University of Graz/AT

Local organisers:

Stefan Ropele
Christian Langkammer
Medical University of Graz/AT

Preliminary faculty:
R. Bowtell, K. Bredies, A. Deistung, H. Krenn, S. Robinson, A. Rovira

Goals of the course:
Progress in Susceptibility weighted imaging and
quantitative mapping has opened a new window into tissue composition and microstructure. The aim of this 3-day course is to teach participants the fundamentals of this fast growing field. The course will cover the physical basics of magnetic susceptibility, susceptibility weighted pulse sequences, and reconstruction methods to produce qualitative and quantitative susceptibility maps. A special emphasis will also be put on clinical and preclinical applications. This course is dedicated to MR physicists, basic scientists and clinicians who already have a basic background in MRI.

The course will cover
• Theory of magnetic susceptibility
• Formation of bulk susceptibility in biological tissues
• Pulse sequences and implementation issues
• Methods for phase processing and background field removal
• Strategies for solving inverse problems
• Validation of biophysical contributors to magnetic susceptibility
• Clinical and preclinical applications

Educational level:
This course is intended for MR physicists, basic scientists and clinicians who have a working knowledge of magnetic resonance basics and who wish to expand their knowledge of qualitative and quantitative susceptibility mapping. To improve students' understanding of susceptibility mapping related problems, specific examinations will be done with MATLAB. The status quo and challenges for clinical applications will be discussed. This course also includes an excursion to a SQUID magnetometer.

Course description:

Magnetic susceptibility is a fundamental physical property which can significantly affect MR image contrast. Susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), which was one of the first attempts to maximize this contrast, has enabled us to highlight tissue structures and compounds that can hardly be detected by conventional MRI, including iron, calcifications, small veins, blood and bones. In recent years, impressive progress has been made in quantification of tissue susceptibility in vivo by solving the inverse problem (QSM). While first clinical susceptibility mapping studies have focused on the brain, susceptibility mapping outside the brain has become an advancing and rapidly growing field that offers new clinical applications.

This course will enable interested scientists, MR physicists or PhD students to understand the concepts of SWI and QSM and their applications. The course is also suited for clinicians with interest in new clinical applications of susceptibility imaging. However, basic MRI knowledge is a prerequisite to benefit from the entire course program.

The course will address four major topics including the fundamentals of magnetic susceptibility, pulse sequence considerations, reconstruction methods and (pre)clinical applications. The primary teaching method will be lectures with ample room for discussions. In addition to the lectures, specific examinations will be done with MATLAB to provide hands-on experience with the methods taught in the course. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop with a pre-installed MATLAB. If this is not possible, please contact the local organizers. The course also includes an excursion to a SQUID magnetometer.

Learning objectives:
Magnetic properties of tissue
•Be familiar with the magnetic properties of different tissue components and trace elements
•Understanding how bulk susceptibility is affected by tissue composition and microarchitecture
•Characteristics of major tissue constituents (water, iron, myelin)
•Non-MRI methods for assessing susceptibility of tissue

Susceptibility weighted MR sequences
•Pulse sequence considerations
•SNR optimizations
•Impact of image resolution and voxel aspect ratio
•Combining signals from multi-coil arrays
•Effect of B0 gradients and correction schemes
•Non Cartesian sampling schemes

Reconstruction methods
•Phase unwrapping, filtering, background field removal
•Combining phase and magnitude images (SWI)
•Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM)
•Inversion algorithms
•Advanced mathematical methods
•Susceptibility tensor imaging

Clinical and preclinical applications

•Detection of microbleeds and calcifications
•Iron mapping in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases
•Assessing myelin content
•Tumor imaging
• Ischemia
•Quantification of contrast agent
•Quantitative blood oxygenation venography
•Applications outside the brain

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