Bone Marrow MRI: A Quick Guide

  • Lia Angela Moulopoulos
  • Vassilis Koutoulidis


MRI of the bone marrow can be limited to the central skeleton. It should include the thoracic and lumbosacral spine and if possible the pelvis. Remember that, in an adult, it is unlikely to find a malignant bone marrow lesion in the peripheral skeleton without central lesions. T2 weighting should be performed with STIR or fat-suppressed sequences. Always obtain chemical-shift images; they are invaluable for determining the presence of red marrow and differentiating it from malignant lesions. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images without fat suppression allow for quantitative assessment of enhancement. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images with fat suppression increase lesion conspicuity. Perfusion parameters derived from dynamic contrast-enhanced images can be useful in specific clinical situations, although their use in daily practice of nonspecialized centers is limited. Diffusion-weighted images are relatively easy to perform and may be evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively (do not forget to include b-values higher than 500 s/mm2). They may provide valuable information related to lesion characterization, treatment response, and differentiation between benign and malignant vertebral fractures.


Vertebral Compression Fracture Bone Marrow Lesion Halo Sign Hypointense Lesion Abnormal Bone Marrow 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.1st Department of RadiologyUniversity of Athens School of MedicineAthensGreece

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