, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 684-694
Date: 05 Mar 2013

Correlations between the MR Diffusion-weighted Image (DWI) and the bone mineral density (BMD) as a function of the soft tissue thickness-focus on phantom and patient

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In this study we used lumbar phantoms to determine if the BMD (bone mineral density) changes when only the thickness of soft tissue is increased. Second, we targeted osteoporosis patients to analyze the dependences of the changes in the SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and the ADC (apparent diffusion coefficient) on changes in T-score. We used a bone mineral densitometer, phantoms such as an aluminum spine phantom (ASP), a Hologic spine phantom (HSP), and a European spine phantom (ESP), five sheets of acrylic panel, and a water bath to study the effects of changes in the thickness of soft tissue. First, we measured the ASP, the HSP and the ESP. For the measurement of the ASP, we filled it with water to increase the height by 0.5 cm starting from the baseline height. We then did three measurements for each height. For the measurements of the HSP and the ESP, we placed an acrylic panel on the phantom and then did three measurements at each height. We used the ASP to calculate the degree of precision of the standard mode and the thick mode at the maximum height of the water bath. To assess the degree of precision in the measurements of the three types of phantoms, we calculated precision errors and analyzed the correlation between the change in the thickness of soft tissue and the variables of the BMD. Using DWIs (diffusion weighted images), we targeted 30 healthy persons without osteoporosis and 30 patients with a finding of osteoporosis and measured the T-scores for the L1 — L4 (lumbar spine) segments of by the spine using the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) before classifying the measurement at each part of the spine as osteopenia or osteoporosis. We measured the signal intensity on all four parts of L1-L4 in the DWIs obtained using a 1.5T MR scanner and measured the ADC in the ADC map image. We compared changes in the SNR and the ADC for each group. The study results confirmed that an increase in the thickness of the soft tissue had a significant correlation with the BMD and that the SNR and the ADC decreased as the T-score in the DWI went down.