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Basal Ganglia Iron Content Increases with Glioma Severity Using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping: A Potential Biomarker of Tumor Severity. Tomography 2022 Mar 15;8(2):789-797



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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gliomas have been found to alter iron metabolism and transport in ways that result in an expansion of their intracellular iron compartments to support aggressive tumor growth. This study used deep neural network trained quantitative susceptibility mapping to assess basal ganglia iron concentrations in glioma patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-two patients with brain lesions were initially enrolled in this study and fifty-nine met the inclusion criteria. Susceptibility-weighted images were collected at 3.0 T and used to construct quantitative susceptibility maps via a deep neural network-based method. The regions of interest were manually drawn within basal ganglia structures and the mean voxel intensities were extracted and averaged across multiple slices. One-way ANCOVA tests were conducted to compare the susceptibility values of groups of patients based on tumor grade while controlling for age, sex, and tumor type.

RESULTS: The mean basal ganglia susceptibility for patients with grade IV tumors was higher than that for patients with grade II tumors (p = 0.00153) and was also higher for patients with grade III tumors compared to patients with grade II tumors (p = 0.020), after controlling for age, sex, and tumor type. Patient age influenced susceptibility values (p = 0.00356), while sex (p = 0.69) and tumor type (p = 0.11) did not.

CONCLUSIONS: The basal ganglia iron content increased with glioma severity. Basal ganglia iron levels may thus be a useful biomarker in glioma prognosis and treatment, especially with regard to iron-based cancer therapies.

Author List

Reith TP, Prah MA, Choi EJ, Lee J, Wujek R, Al-Gizawiy M, Chitambar CR, Connelly JM, Schmainda KM


Mona Al-Gizawiy PhD Assistant Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jennifer M. Connelly MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kathleen M. Schmainda PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Basal Ganglia
Magnetic Resonance Imaging