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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Dec;1240:77-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06282.x.

Noninvasive imaging of bone microarchitecture.

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  • 1Musculoskeletal Quantitative Imaging Research, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.


The noninvasive quantification of peripheral compartment-specific bone microarchitecture is feasible with high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI). In addition to classic morphometric indices, both techniques provide a suitable basis for virtual biomechanical testing using finite element (FE) analyses. Methodical limitations, morphometric parameter definition, and motion artifacts have to be considered to achieve optimal data interpretation from imaging studies. With increasing availability of in vivo high-resolution bone imaging techniques, special emphasis should be put on quality control including multicenter, cross-site validations. Importantly, conclusions from interventional studies investigating the effects of antiosteoporotic drugs on bone microarchitecture should be drawn with care, ideally involving imaging scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians.

© 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

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