Bone marrow diffusion in osteoporosis: evaluation with quantitative MR diffusion imaging

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 Feb;19(2):222-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.10453.


Purpose: To determine the diffusion of vertebral body marrow with quantitative MR diffusion imaging and to examine whether differences exist between subjects with postmenopausal osteoporosis and premenopausal control subjects.

Materials and methods: A total of 44 consecutive women (mean age, 70 years) with documented bone mineral density (BMD) measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (T-score) and 20 normal subjects (mean age, 28 years) were examined with echo-planar diffusion imaging at 1.5 T using b values of 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 seconds/mm2. Extravascular diffusion (D) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were calculated and results from both groups compared.

Results: Both D and ADC values tended to decrease with decreasing BMD. Mean D values were significantly lower in postmenopausal women with reduced BMD (0.42 +/- 0.12 x 10(-3) mm2/second) than normal premenopausal women (0.50 +/- 0.09 x 10(-3) mm2/second). Mean ADC values were significantly lower both in subjects with reduced BMD (0.41 +/- 0.10 x 10(-3) mm2/second) and normal BMD (0.43 +/- 0.08 x 10(-3) mm2/second) compared to normal controls (0.49 +/- 0.07 x 10(-3) mm2/second).

Conclusion: Accumulation of fatty bone marrow associated with osteoporosis is reflected by a decrease in D and ADC. Diffusion imaging may prove useful in the study of osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Marrow / pathology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Postmenopause
  • Premenopause
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors