Quantitative MRI and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry imaging of iron in the frontal cortex of healthy controls and Alzheimer's disease patients

Marjolein Bulk, Walid M. Abdelmoula, Hanneke Geut, Wim Wiarda, Itamar Ronen, Jouke Dijkstra, Louise van der Weerd
2020 NeuroImage  
Accumulation of iron within the cortex of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients has been reported by numerous MRI studies using iron-sensitive methods. Validation of iron-sensitive MRI is important for the interpretation of in vivo findings. In this study, the relation between the spatial iron distribution and T2∗-weighted MRI in the human brain was investigated using a direct comparison of spatial maps of iron as detected by T2∗-weighted MRI, iron histochemistry and laser ablation-inductively
more » ... ed plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), in postmortem brain tissue of the medial frontal gyrus of three control subjects and six AD patients. In addition, iron levels measured by LA-ICP-MS and three quantitative MRI methods, namely R2∗ (=1/T2∗), image phase and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), were compared between 19 AD and 11 controls. Histochemistry results we obtained with the modified Meguro staining were highly correlated with iron levels as detected by LA-ICP-MS (r2=0.82, P<0.0001). Significant positive correlations were also found between LA-ICP-MS and the three quantitative MRI measurements: R2∗ (r2 = 0.63), image phase (r2 = 0.70) and QSM (r2 = 0.74 (all p < 0.0001)). R2∗ and QSM showed the strongest correlation with iron content; the correlation of phase with iron clearly showed increased variation, probably due to its high orientation dependence. Despite the obvious differences in iron distribution patterns within the cortex between AD patients and controls, no overall significant differences were found in iron as measured by LA-ICP-MS, nor in R2∗, phase or susceptibility. In conclusion, our results show that histochemistry as well as quantitative MRI methods such as R2∗ mapping and QSM provide reliable measures of iron distribution in the cortex. These results support the use of MRI studies focusing on iron distribution in both the healthy and the diseased brain.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116808 pmid:32289451 fatcat:bdvsvawsbfauhcecdhmiwjjaoe