This study aimed to develop and test a simultaneous acquisition and analysis pipeline for voxel-based magnetic susceptibility and morphometry (VBMSM) on a single dataset using young volunteers, elderly healthy volunteers, and an Alzheimer's disease (AD) group. 3D T-1-weighted and multi-echo phase images for VBM and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) were simultaneously acquired using a magnetization-prepared spoiled turbo multiple gradient echo sequence with inversion pulse for QSM (MP-QSM). The magnitude image was split into gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) and was spatially normalized. The susceptibility map was reconstructed from the phase images. The segmented image and susceptibility map were compared with those obtained from conventional multiple spoiled gradient echo (mGRE) and MP-spoiled gradient echo (MP-GRE) in healthy volunteers to validate the availability of MP-QSM by numerical measurements. To assess the feasibility of the VBMSM analysis pipeline, voxel-based comparisons of susceptibility and morphometry in MP-QSM were conducted in volunteers with a bimodal age distribution, and in elderly volunteers and the AD group, using spatially normalized GM and WM volume images and a susceptibility map. GM/WM contrasts in MP-QSM, MP-GRE, and mGRE were 0.14 +/- 0.011, 0.17 +/- 0.015, and 0.045 +/- 0.010, respectively. Segmented GM and WM volumes in the MP-QSM closely coincided with those in the MP-GRE. Region of interest analyses indicated that the mean susceptibility values in MP-QSM were completely in agreement with those in mGRE. In an evaluation of the aging effect, a significant increase and decrease in susceptibility and volume were found by VBMSM in deep GM and WM, respectively. Between the elderly volunteers and the AD group, the characteristic susceptibility and volume changes in GM and WM were observed. The proposed MP-QSM sequence makes it possible to acquire acceptable-quality images for simultaneous analysis and determine brain atrophy and susceptibility distribution without image registration by using voxel-based analyses.
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