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Calcif Tissue Int. 2003 Feb;72(2):156-65. Epub 2002 Oct 10.

Structure analysis of high resolution magnetic resonance imaging of the proximal femur: in vitro correlation with biomechanical strength and BMD.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Munich, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to use high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI) combined with structure analysis to investigate the trabecular structure of the human proximal femur and to compare this technique with bone mineral density (BMD) using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in the prediction of bone strength in vitro. Thirty-one fresh human proximal femur specimens were examined with HR-MRI using a T1-weighted 3D spinecho-sequence in a coronal plane (voxel size: 0.195 x 0.195 x 0.9 mm and 0.195 x 0.195 x 0.3 mm). In these images structure parameters analogous to standard bone histomorphometry were obtained in a femoral head, neck, and trochanteric region of interest (ROI). In addition, BMD measurements were obtained using DXA and finally, all specimens were tested biomechanically in a materials testing machine, and maximum compressive strength (MCS) was determined. Correlations between BMD and MCS were significant (p <0.01) with R-values up to 0.74. Correlating structure parameters and MCS R-values up to 0.69 (P <0.01) were obtained. Using multivariate regression analysis, combining structure parameters and BMD, improved correlations versus MCS substantially (up to R = 0.93; P <0.01). In conclusion, this study showed that in an experimental setting, structure parameters determined in high resolution MR images of the proximal femur correlated significantly with bone strength. The highest correlations, however, were obtained combining BMD and structure measures.

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