Imaging bone structure and osteoporosis using MRI

18 Dec


Osteoporosis is a metabolic disorder that results in a decrease in bone mineral density and an alteration in the trabecular ar­chitectural structure. Osteoporotic bone has decreased me­chanical strength making it prone to fracture, especially atrau­matic vertebral fractures and fall-related hip and radius frac­tures. Osteoporosis is clinically diagnosed using measurement of bone mineral density. Bone mineral density is usually mea­sured using x-ray or ultrasound imaging techniques. In x-ray imaging (such as dual energy x-ray absoptiometry, DEXA, and quantitative computer tomography, QCT) the image intensity relates to the tissue mineral density. In ultrasound, image in­tensity reflects the change in frequency and amplitude of the sound wave traveling through the tissue. X-ray techniques use ionizing radiation, which can have deleterious effects in suffi­cient doses. Ultrasound, though harmless, provides only a small field of view, which may limit the accuracy of the mea­surement. In addition to bone density, the quality of bone which includes bone micro-architecture is of interest. Recent ad­vances in micro-computed tomography, a x-ray based 3D tech­nique has made it possible to obtain images of trabecular bone micro-architecture. Another promising imaging modality for measurement of trabecular architecture is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI does not use ionizing radiation and can provide three dimensional images of the bone structure. Figure 1 illustrates different imaging modalities, such as radiographs, DXA, and MRI, used to obtain images of the calcaneus and the proximal femur.
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Figure 1 - Images of calcaneus using

Figure 1 – Images of calcaneus using (A) radiograph and (B) MR. Image of the proximal femur using (C) DXA and (D) MR.