Osteoporosis International

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 653–661 | Cite as

Assessment of trabecular bone structure comparing magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla with high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography ex vivo and in vivo

  • R. KrugEmail author
  • J. Carballido-Gamio
  • A. J. Burghardt
  • G. Kazakia
  • B. H. Hyun
  • B. Jobke
  • S. Banerjee
  • M. Huber
  • T. M. Link
  • S. Majumdar
Original Article



In vivo high-resolution peripheral quantitative micro-CT (HR-pQCT) is a new modality for imaging peripheral sites like the distal tibia and the distal radius, providing structural bone parameters. Comparing HR-pQCT with MRI, we found that both modalities are capable of offering meaningful information on trabecular structure.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as the leading in vivo method for measuring trabecular bone micro-architecture and providing structural information. Recently, an in vivo HR-pQCT modality was introduced for imaging peripheral sites like the distal tibia and the distal radius, providing structural bone parameters. The goal of this work was to compare and evaluate the performances and in vivo capabilities of HR-pQCT in comparison with MRI at 3 Tesla.


To this end images of 8 human specimens (5 tibiae and 3 radii) and 11 participants (6 tibia and 5 radii) were acquired with both modalities. Additionally, the radius specimens were scanned with micro-CT (μCT), which was used as a standard of reference. Structural parameters calculated from MRI were compared with results from HR-pQCT images and additionally μCT for the radii specimens.


High correlations (r > 0.7) were found for trabecular number and trabecular spacing between the two modalities in vivo and ex vivo. 2D and 3D analysis revealed high correlations (r > 0.8) in structural bone parameters for all measurements. Using micro-CT as standard of reference both results from QCT and MRI correlated well.


Both imaging modalities were found to perform equally well regarding trabecular bone measurements.


3.0 Tesla High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging In vivo high-resolution peripheral quantitative micro-CT Micro-CT Osteoporosis Trabecular bone structure 



This work is funded by UCSF Radiology Seed Grant #05-16 and by NIH grant award program number R01-AR49701.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Krug
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • J. Carballido-Gamio
    • 1
  • A. J. Burghardt
    • 1
  • G. Kazakia
    • 1
  • B. H. Hyun
    • 1
  • B. Jobke
    • 1
  • S. Banerjee
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Huber
    • 1
  • T. M. Link
    • 1
  • S. Majumdar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.MQIR, Department of RadiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.University of California San Francisco-University of California Berkeley Joint Graduate Group in BioengineeringSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.San FranciscoUSA

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