Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping

Example workflow for Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping

This tutorial was created by Steffen Bollmann.

Github: @stebo85 Web: mri.sbollmann.net Twitter: @sbollmann_MRI

Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping in QSMxT

Neurodesk includes QSMxT, a complete and end-to-end QSM processing and analysis framework that excels at automatically reconstructing and processing QSM for large groups of participants.

QSMxT provides pipelines implemented in Python that:

  1. Automatically convert DICOM data to the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS)
  2. Automatically reconstruct QSM, including steps for:
    1. Robust masking without anatomical priors
    2. Phase unwrapping (Laplacian based)
    3. Background field removal + dipole inversion (tgv_qsm)
    4. Multi-echo combination
  3. Automatically generate a common group space for the whole study, as well as average magnitude and QSM images that facilitate group-level analyses.
  4. Automatically segment T1w data and register them to the QSM space to extract quantitative values in anatomical regions of interest.
  5. Export quantitative data to CSV for all subjects using the automated segmentations, or a custom segmentation in the group space (we recommend ITK snap).

If you use QSMxT for a study, please cite https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.05.05.442850 (for QSMxT) and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25731991 (for TGVQSM)

Download demo data

Open a terminal and run:

pip install osfclient
export PATH=$PATH:~/.local/bin
cd /neurodesktop-storage/
osf -p ru43c clone /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo
unzip /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/osfstorage/GRE_2subj_1mm_TE20ms/sub1/GR_M_5_QSM_p2_1mmIso_TE20.zip -d /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/dicoms
unzip /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/osfstorage/GRE_2subj_1mm_TE20ms/sub1/GR_P_6_QSM_p2_1mmIso_TE20.zip -d /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/dicoms
unzip /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/osfstorage/GRE_2subj_1mm_TE20ms/sub2/GR_M_5_QSM_p2_1mmIso_TE20.zip -d /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/dicoms
unzip /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/osfstorage/GRE_2subj_1mm_TE20ms/sub2/GR_P_6_QSM_p2_1mmIso_TE20.zip -d /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/dicoms

QSMxT Usage

Start QSMxT (in this demo we used 1.1.9) from the applications menu in the desktop (Neurodesk > Quantitative Imaging > qsmxt)

  1. Convert DICOM data to BIDS:
    cd /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo
    python3 /opt/QSMxT/run_0_dicomSort.py /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/dicoms 00_dicom
    python3 /opt/QSMxT/run_1_dicomConvert.py 00_dicom 01_bids

This will bring up an interactive question to ask you which sequence your QSM data are. It will automatically detect the QSM sequence if it has qsm or t2star in the protocol name or you can use the command line argument --t2starw_series_patterns to specify. This demo data comes without a structural scan (automatically recognized with t1w in the name, or specified with --t1w_series_patterns, so hit Enter to continue when it asks you to identify which scan the T1w scan is:


  1. Run QSM pipeline:
    python3 /opt/QSMxT/run_2_qsm.py 01_bids 02_qsm_output

Then you can open a viewer (Visualization -> mricrogl -> mricroglGUI) and you can find the QSM outputs in /neurodesktop-storage/qsmxt-demo/02_qsm_output/qsm_final/_run_run-1/

for example: sub-170705-134431-std-1312211075243167001_ses-1_run-1_part-phase_T2starw_scaled_qsm_000_composite_average.nii


Please note that the demo dataset does not have a T1w scan for anatomical segmentation and therefore the subsequent steps in QSMxT (e.g. python3 /opt/QSMxT/run_3_segment.py 01_bids 03_segmentation) will NOT work.

Last modified February 28, 2022 : added note about lack of anatomical data (e0ddd3b5)