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MRI Assessment of Bone Marrow Composition in Osteoporosis

Li X1, Schwartz AV2.

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2020 Jan 18. doi: 10.1007/s11914-020-00562-x. [Epub ahead of print]

To provide an overview on recent technical development for quantifying marrow composition using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) techniques, as well as a summary on recent findings of interrelationship between marrow adipose tissue (MAT) and skeletal health in the context of osteoporosis.

There have been significant technical advances in reliable quantification of marrow composition using MR techniques. Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated a negative correlation between MAT and bone, with trabecular bone associating more strongly with MAT than cortical bone. However, longitudinal studies of MAT and bone are limited. MAT contents and composition have been associated with prevalent vertebral fracture. The evidence between MAT and clinical fracture is more limited, and, to date, no studies have reported on the relationship between MAT and incident fracture. Increasing evidence suggests a dynamic role of marrow fat in skeletal health. Reliable non-invasive quantification of marrow composition will facilitate developing novel treatment strategies for osteoporosis.