Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 588–595 | Cite as

MRI “road-map” of normal age-related bone marrow

I. Cranial bone and spine
  • A. Taccone
  • M. Oddone
  • M. Occhi
  • A. Dell'Acqua
  • M. A. Ciccone


We retrospectively reviewed 733 cranial and 250 spinal T1-weighted MR images of patients younger than 24 years to evaluate the bone marrow changes. The signal intensity of the bone marrow on short-TR/TE images was compared with that of fat and normal muscles in the contiguous region and graded. The signal intensity of all anatomic segments was as low as that of muscle, or inferior, in all patients younger than 3 months because of hematopoietic tissue and probably greater amounts of trabecular bone. The first anatomic segments of cranial bone to become hyperintense were the zygomatic bone and mandibular symphysis, followed by the presphenoid bone, basisphenoid, basiocciput, calvaria, and the petrous apex. After 3 years of age, most patients demonstrated pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus. We describe the most interesting changes in the developing spien, which occur in the first 2 years of life. The morphology of the vertebral bodies was evaluated. The variability of the signal and the morphology of the disks were also evaluated. Regional patterns of bone marrow signal intensity and age-related differences should not be misinterpreted as a pathologic condition.


Bone Marrow Signal Intensity Vertebral Body Trabecular Bone Sphenoid Sinus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Moore SG, Sebag GH (1986) Primary disorders of bone marrow. In: Cohen MD (ed) Pediatric magnetic resonance imaging. Decker, Philadelphia, pp 765–824Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wintrobe MM (1981) Clinical hematology. 8th edn. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia p 48Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kricun ME (1985) Red-yellow marrow conversion: its effect on the location of some solitary bone lesions. Skeletal Radiol 14: 10PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ehman RL (1988) MR imaging of medullary bone. Radiology 167: 867PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vogler JB, Murphy WA (1988) Bone marrow imaging. Radiology 168: 679PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gordon NY, Barrett AJ (1985) Normal haemopoiesis. In: Gordon NY, Barrett AJ (eds) Bone marrow disorders. Blackwell, London, pp 3–136Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Biermann A, von Keyserlingk DC (1978) Ultrastructure of reticulum cells in the bone marrow. Acta Anat (Basel) 100: 34Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Okada Y, Aoki S, Barkovich AJ, Nishimura K, Norman D, Kjos BO, Brasch RC (1989) Cranial bone marrow in children: assessment of normal development with MR imaging. Radiology 171: 161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ricci C, Cova M, Kang YS, Yang A, Rahmouni A, Scott WW, Zerhouni EA (1990) Normal age-related patterns of cellular and fatty bone marrow distribution in the axial skeleton: MR imaging study. Radiology 177: 83PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Moore SG, Dawson KL (1990) Red and yellow marrow in the fenur: age-related changes in appearance at MR imaging. Radiology 175: 219PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hajek PC, Baker LL, Goobar JE, Sartoris DJ, hesselink JR, Haghighi P, Resnick D (1987) Focal fat deposition in axial bone marrow: MR characteristics. Radiology 162: 245PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dawson KL, Moore SG, Rowland JM (1992) Age-related marrow changes in the pelvis: MR and anatomic findings. Radiology 183: 47PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Aoki S, Dillon WP, Barkovich AJ, Norman D (1989) Marrow conversion before pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus: assessment with MR imaging. Radiology 172: 373PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fujioka M, Young LW (1978) The sphenoid sinuses: radiographic patterns of normal development and abnromal findings in infants and children. Radiology 129: 133PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Silverman FN (1986) The skull. In: Silverman FN (ed) Caffey's pediatric X-ray diagnosis. Year Book Medical, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Vidic B (1968) The postnatal development of the sphenoid sinus and its spread into the dorsum sellae and posterior clinoid processes. AJR 104: 177Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Raybaud CA, Naidich TP, McLone OG (1992) Development of the spine and spinal cord. In: Manelfe C (ed) Imaging of the spine and spinal cord. Raven Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Starshak RJ, Wells RG, Sty JR, Gregg DC (1992) Diagnostic imaging of infants and children. The spine (vol II). Aspen, Gaithersburg, MdGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sze G, Baierl P, Bravo S (1991) Evolution of the infant spinal column: evaluation with MR imaging. Radiology 181: 819–827PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Weinreb JC (1990) MR imaging of bone marrow: a map could help. Radiology 177: 23PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kimura F, Kim KS, Friedman H, Russell EJ, Breit R (1990) MR imaging of the normal and abnormal clivus. AJNR 11: 1015PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Taccone
    • 1
  • M. Oddone
    • 1
  • M. Occhi
    • 1
  • A. Dell'Acqua
    • 1
  • M. A. Ciccone
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiology DepartmentG. Gaslini Children's HospitalGenovaItaly

Personalised recommendations