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Longitudinal evaluation of the effects of alendronate on MRI bone microarchitecture in postmenopausal osteopenic women.

Author(s): Folkesson J, Goldenstein J, Carballido-Gamio J, Kazakia G, Burghardt AJ, Rodriguez A, Krug R, de Papp AE, Link TM, Majumdar S

Affiliation(s): Musculoskeletal Quantitative Imaging Research Group (MQIR), Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. jenny.folkesson@ucsf.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-03-01, Bone., 48(3):611-21. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

We evaluated longitudinal effects of alendronate on MRI-based trabecular bone structure parameters derived from dual thresholding and fuzzy clustering (BE-FCM) trabecular bone segmentation. Treatment effects were observed in the distal tibia after 24 months. The BE-FCM method increased correlations to HR-pQCT-based parameters. INTRODUCTION: High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows for non-invasive bone microarchitecture analysis. The goal of this study was to examine the potential of MRI-based trabecular bone structure parameters to monitor effects of alendronate in humans in vivo, and to compare the results to HR-pQCT and DXA measurements. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Postmenopausal osteopenic women were divided into alendronate treatment and control groups, and imaged at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months (n = 52 at baseline) using 3T MRI, HR-pQCT, and DXA. Image acquisition sites included distal tibia (MRI and HR-pQCT), distal radius (MRI, DXA, and HR-pQCT), and the proximal femur (MRI and DXA). Two different regions of interest were evaluated. One contained the trabecular bone region within the entire MRI acquisition, and the second contained a subregion matched to the region contained in the HR-pQCT acquisition. The trabecular bone was segmented using two different methods; dual thresholding and BE-FCM. Trabecular bone structure parameters included bone volume fraction (BV/TV), number (Tb.N), spacing (Tb.Sp), and thickness (Tb.Th), along with seven geodesic topological analysis (GTA) parameters. Longitudinal changes and correlations to HR-pQCT and DXA measurements were evaluated. RESULTS: Apparent Tb.N and four GTA parameters showed treatment effects (p < 0.05) in the distal tibia after 24 months in the entire MRI region using BE-FCM, as well as Tb.N using dual thresholding. No treatment effects after 24 months were observed in the HR-pQCT or in MRI analysis for the HR-pQCT-matched regions. Apparent BV/TV and Tb.N from BE-FCM had significantly higher correlations to HR-pQCT values compared to those derived from thresholding. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the influence of computational methods and region of interest definitions on measurements of trabecular bone structure, and the feasibility of MRI-based quantification of longitudinal changes in bone microarchitecture due to bisphosphonate therapy. The results suggest that there may be a need to reevaluate the current standard HR-pQCT region definition for increased treatment sensitivity. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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