, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 95-97
Date: 23 Nov 2007

Magnetic resonance imaging for osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone strength and an increased propensity to fracture. The routine assessment of skeletal integrity is carried out using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which is a measure of areal bone density, and does not capture all factors contributing to bone strength. In addition to bone mass, density, and content, the trabecular and cortical bone architecture, mineralization, micro-fracture, and damage repair also contribute to bone strength. Site-specific bone structure information would significantly contribute to further understanding the determinants of fracture risk, and influence optimization of therapy. Considerable effort is being expended in developing techniques to assess trabecular bone micro-architecture non-invasively.

Three-dimensional techniques that reveal trabecular bone structure are emerging as important tools for defining some features of bone quality not assessed by DXA. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) has recently been develop