MRI “road-map” of normal age-related bone marrow
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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.
KeywordsBone Marrow Signal Intensity Vertebral Body Trabecular Bone Sphenoid Sinus
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