Investigating the effect of flow compensation and quantitative susceptibility mapping method on the accuracy of venous susceptibility measurement

Ronja C. Berg, Christine Preibisch, David L. Thomas, Karin Shmueli, Emma Biondetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is a promising non-invasive method for obtaining information relating to oxygen metabolism. However, the optimal acquisition sequence and QSM reconstruction method for reliable venous susceptibility measurements are unknown. Full flow compensation is generally recommended to correct for the influence of venous blood flow, although the effect of flow compensation on the accuracy of venous susceptibility values has not been systematically evaluated. In this study, we investigated the effect of different acquisition sequences, including different flow compensation schemes, and different QSM reconstruction methods on venous susceptibilities. Ten healthy subjects were scanned with five or six distinct QSM sequence designs using monopolar readout gradients and different flow compensation schemes. All data sets were processed using six different QSM pipelines and venous blood susceptibility was evaluated in whole-brain segmentations of the venous vasculature and single veins. The quality of vein segmentations and the accuracy of venous susceptibility values were analyzed and compared between all combinations of sequences and reconstruction methods. The influence of the QSM reconstruction method on average venous susceptibility values was found to be 2.7–11.6 times greater than the influence of the acquisition sequence, including flow compensation. The majority of the investigated QSM reconstruction methods tended to underestimate venous susceptibility values in the vein segmentations that were obtained. In summary, we found that multi-echo gradient-echo acquisition sequences without full flow compensation yielded venous susceptibility values comparable to sequences with full flow compensation. However, the QSM reconstruction method had a great influence on susceptibility values and thus needs to be selected carefully for accurate venous QSM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118399
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow compensation
  • Image processing
  • Quantitative susceptibility mapping
  • Sequence design
  • Vein segmentation
  • Venous oxygenation


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