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Bone. 2011 Mar 1;48(3):611-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2010.10.179. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Longitudinal evaluation of the effects of alendronate on MRI bone microarchitecture in postmenopausal osteopenic women.

Author information

  • 1Musculoskeletal Quantitative Imaging Research Group (MQIR), Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. jenny.folkesson@ucsf.edu

Abstract

We evaluated longitudinal effects of alendronate on MRI-based trabecular bone structure parameters derived from dual thresholding and fuzzy clustering (BE-FCM) trabecular bone segmentation. Treatment effects were observed in the distal tibia after 24 months. The BE-FCM method increased correlations to HR-pQCT-based parameters.

INTRODUCTION:

High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows for non-invasive bone microarchitecture analysis. The goal of this study was to examine the potential of MRI-based trabecular bone structure parameters to monitor effects of alendronate in humans in vivo, and to compare the results to HR-pQCT and DXA measurements.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Postmenopausal osteopenic women were divided into alendronate treatment and control groups, and imaged at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months (n = 52 at baseline) using 3T MRI, HR-pQCT, and DXA. Image acquisition sites included distal tibia (MRI and HR-pQCT), distal radius (MRI, DXA, and HR-pQCT), and the proximal femur (MRI and DXA). Two different regions of interest were evaluated. One contained the trabecular bone region within the entire MRI acquisition, and the second contained a subregion matched to the region contained in the HR-pQCT acquisition. The trabecular bone was segmented using two different methods; dual thresholding and BE-FCM. Trabecular bone structure parameters included bone volume fraction (BV/TV), number (Tb.N), spacing (Tb.Sp), and thickness (Tb.Th), along with seven geodesic topological analysis (GTA) parameters. Longitudinal changes and correlations to HR-pQCT and DXA measurements were evaluated.

RESULTS:

Apparent Tb.N and four GTA parameters showed treatment effects (p < 0.05) in the distal tibia after 24 months in the entire MRI region using BE-FCM, as well as Tb.N using dual thresholding. No treatment effects after 24 months were observed in the HR-pQCT or in MRI analysis for the HR-pQCT-matched regions. Apparent BV/TV and Tb.N from BE-FCM had significantly higher correlations to HR-pQCT values compared to those derived from thresholding.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates the influence of computational methods and region of interest definitions on measurements of trabecular bone structure, and the feasibility of MRI-based quantification of longitudinal changes in bone microarchitecture due to bisphosphonate therapy. The results suggest that there may be a need to reevaluate the current standard HR-pQCT region definition for increased treatment sensitivity.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID:
21059422
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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