Validation and Optimization of Proximal Femurs Microstructure Analysis Using High Field and Ultra-High Field MRI

  • Soldati Enrico
  • Vicente Jerome
  • Guenoun Daphne
  • Bendahan David
  • Pithioux Martine

  • Osteoporosis
  • Ultra-high field MRI
  • ΜCT
  • Turbo spin echo
  • Cadaveric human femur
  • Bone morphology
  • Air bubbles artefacts
  • Gradient echo
  • Bone microarchitecture
  • Biomechanical fracture test


Trabecular bone could be assessed non-invasively using MRI. However, MRI does not yet provide resolutions lower than trabecular thickness and a comparative analysis between different MRI sequences at different field strengths and X-ray microtomography (μCT) is still missing. In this study, we compared bone microstructure parameters and bone mineral density (BMD) computed using various MRI approaches, i.e., turbo spin echo (TSE) and gradient recalled echo (GRE) images used at different magnetic fields, i.e., 7T and 3T. The corresponding parameters computed from μCT images and BMD derived from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were used as the ground truth. The correlation between morphological parameters, BMD and fracture load assessed by mechanical compression tests was evaluated. Histomorphometric parameters showed a good agreement between 7T TSE and μCT, with 8% error for trabecular thickness with no significative statistical difference and a good intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC > 0.5) for all the extrapolated parameters. No correlation was found between DXA-BMD and all morphological parameters, except for trabecular interconnectivity (R2 > 0.69). Good correlation (p-value < 0.05) was found between failure load and trabecular interconnectivity (R2 > 0.79). These results suggest that MRI could be of interest for bone microstructure assessment. Moreover, the combination of morphological parameters and BMD could provide a more comprehensive view of bone quality.