Analysis of Susceptibility-Weighted Images of Cortico-Medullary Junction.
Objective: We qualitatively evaluated the differences among susceptibility-weighted (SWI), magnitude (MAG), and high pass filtered phase (PHA) images in depicting interlobar differences in the appearance of the signal of the corticomedullary junction (CMJ). We conducted quantitative evaluation to validate the qualitative results.Materials and Methods: We obtained SWI images from 25 preoperative brain tumor patients (12 men, 13 women, aged 19 to 82 years, mean, 52 years). Two trained neuroradiologists evaluated MAG, PHA, and SWI images. Qualitative evaluation of the CMJ signal and quantitative calculation of the relative signal ratio (RSR) percentages between the CMJ and deep white matter (WM) were conducted at 3 different slice levels of the brain independently for 4 different lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital) and compared among MAG, PHA, and SWI. The extent of the area of the CMJ signal was graded on a 4-point scale (Grade 3, >75%; Grade 2, 50 to 75%; Grade 1, 25 to 50%; Grade 0, <25%). Data were statistically analyzed using a nonparametric Friedman test.Results: The Kappa coefficients between the qualitative and quantitative grades were 0.002 for MAG, 0.0047 for PHA, and 0.050 for SWI. Qualitatively, on the PHA images and SWI, grades of the occipital lobes were significantly higher than those of the other lobes (P < 0.005). Quantitatively, PHA images showed statistically significant interlobar differences in RSR percentage values of the CMJ (P = 0.025).Conclusion: Qualitatively, the appearance of the CMJ differed significantly among the different lobes of the brain on SWI and underlying PHA images but not on MAG images. Quantitatively, only PHA images showed significant interlobar differences in the RSR. PHA images are most sensitive to the CMJ signal contrast due to local paramagnetic iron content.