Quantitative diagnosis of osteoporosis using lumbar spine signal intensity in magnetic resonance imaging

Shayganfar A1Khodayi M1Ebrahimian S1Tabrizi Z1.

Br J Radiol. 2019 Feb 13:20180774. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20180774. [Epub ahead of print]





Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease that is not recognized in many elderly people. To determine the cause of low back pain, lumbosacral MRI is done for a large population who may not have gone under dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The aim of this study was to predict bone density using lumbar spine signals in lumbosacral MRI in high risk patients for osteoporosis including post-menopausal females and calculate a threshold for a new quantitative MRI-based score to be used in estimation of lumbar spine bone mass density.


82 menopaused females, who had undergone DXA before, were selected and MRI was done within 6 months after DXA. 69 healthy females aged 20-29 years who had undergone lumbar MRI were selected as reference group. Results were analyzed and threshold and diagnostic performance of MRI-based score (M-score) on the method of T-score was calculated.


Negative correlation between M-score and T-score was detected. Cut off point of 2.05 was found for M-score with near sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 87% for detecting osteoporotic patients from non-osteoporotic individuals.


M-score is a MRI-based method which can identify patients at risk of osteoporosis. Early diagnosis of osteoporosis can reduce morbidity and mortality caused by it.


The research introduced cut of points for M-score as a new MRI quantitative method to be used as an opportunistic technique for detecting osteoporotic patients.


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